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BLOG ARCHIVE: AUGUST 1-15, 2006

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

NEVADA: A PRIMARY DAY WHERE EVEN A DEAD CANDIDATE IS POLITICALLY ALIVE.
Voters go to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots in several hotly contested races. In the open gubernatorial contest, Congressman Jim Gibbons will win the GOP primary by a comfortable margin over Lieutenant Governor Lorraine Hunt, State Senator Bob Beers, a porn star, and a frequent candidate. On the Democratic side, State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus is facing off against Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson. Titus seems to be holding a fairly solid advantage in recent weeks, so look for her to win. In the open race for Lieutenant Governor, State Treasurer Brian Krolicki leads a field of six-GOP hopefuls. The marque race of the day is the GOP primary for the open CD-2 seat being vacated by Congressman Gibbons. Secretary of State Dean Heller, State Assemblywomen Dawn Gibbons and Sharron Angle, and two others are facing off. Gibbons, a conservative, is the wife of the departing incumbent. Heller is a popular GOP centrist who has held statewide office for years. Angle is a conservative backed by over $1 million in independent expenditures by the Club for Growth and other groups. Angle started the race at a distant third place, but appears to have the momentum to narrowly win. Finally, the oddest race on the ballot is clearly the open State Treasurer contest, in which state GOP leaders fear a dead person -- the late State Controller Kathy Augustine -- will defeat two live candidates to win the nomination. To avoid this, election officials are posting signs in all precincts announcing Augustine is deceased. The autopsy toxicology report is not yet back, so it is still uncertain whether Augustine died of a purported heart attack on July 11 or was possibly murdered. Her husband, a critical care nurse, remains the top focus of the state police investigation. State GOP leaders appear so certain Augustine will win that they've already scheduled a special meeting for this upcoming Saturday to select a replacement nominee.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.15.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
COLORADO - GOVERNOR: Former Denver District Attorney Bill Ritter (D) - 48%, Congressman Bob Beauprez (R) - 39%. (Rasmussen Reports).
HAWAII - US SENATE - DEM PRIMARY: US Senator Dan Akaka - 47%, Congressman Ed Case - 45%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MARYLAND - GOVERNOR: Governor Bob Ehrlich (R) - 41%, Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley (D) - 41%. (Credit Union Association/Public Opinion Strategies-R).
MARYLAND - CONGRESS - CD-3 - DEM PRIMARY: Attorney John Sarbanes - 34%, Baltimore Health Commissioner Peter Beilenson - 16%, State Senator Paula Hollinger - 14%, TV news reporter Andy Barth - 11%, Others/Undecided - 25%. (Credit Union Association/Public Opinion Strategies-R).
NEVADA - GOVERNOR - GOP PRIMARY: Congressman Jim Gibbons - 47%, State Senator Bob Beers - 25%, Lieutenant Governor Lorraine Hunt - 17%, Others - 3%. (KVBC-TV/SurveyUSA).
NEVADA - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus - 57%, Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson - 33%, liberal activist Leola McConnell - 3%. (KVBC-TV/SurveyUSA).
NEVADA - CONGRESS - CD-2 - GOP PRIMARY: State Assemblywoman Sharron Angle - 32%, Secretary of State Dean Heller - 32%, former State Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons - 19%. (Las Vegas Review-Journal/Mason-Dixon).
OKLAHOMA - CONGRESS - CD-5 - GOP RUN-OFF: Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin - 58%, Oklahoma City Mayor Kirk Cornett - 39%. (KFOR-TV/SurveyUSA).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.15.06 | Permalink |

OHIO: CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE ARRESTED, SUSPENDS CAMPAIGN.
Veterinarian Stephanie Studebaker -- the Dem nominee against Congressman Mike Turner (R) in CD-3 -- suspended her campaign Monday after she was arrested on domestic violence charges Sunday night. Police responded to calls about a fight, and observed visible injury marks on both. In response, police ended up arresting both Studebaker and her husband. Both signed complaints against each other, and both were released Monday morning on $25,000 bond apiece. Hours later, her campaign posted a notice on her campaign site: "Due to personal issues, the Studebaker for Congress campaign is suspending all campaign activities for the time being. We ... request that the privacy of our campaign be respected during this time." Turner was already rated a fairly safe bet to win reelection before these developments, but he can now be moved to the new "Super Safe" category.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.15.06 | Permalink |

OHIO: BLACKWELL REALLY OVER-REACHES WITH LATEST ATTACK ON DEM.
Two weeks ago, a consultant working with Secretary of State Ken Blackwell's gubernatorial campaign was fired by the Ohio Republican Party for fabricating a rumor that Congressman Ted Strickland (D) was secretly gay. Well, if you thought Blackwell couldn't get more desperate -- as most polls show him running nearly 20-points behind Strickland -- you'd be wrong. Check out the desperate posting from the Blackwell campaign site mockingly comparing Strickland to ... ailing Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. The blog posting compared a photo of Strickland speaking at a podium emblazoned with a Strickland poster featuring his own photo, with the news photo of Castro in bed holding up the front page of a Cuban newspaper with Castro's pic on the cover. The item was posted by Matt Naugle, the campaign staffer who runs the official campaign blog site. With three months to go, and with a well-executed plan like this latest caper, Blackwell still has enough time to alienate nearly all the rest of those voters in the state who still support him. Postscript: The Blackwell campaign removed the offending page just after midnight ... but, GOOD NEWS, we were able to obtain a cached copy of the offending page. Click here to view the PDF of it.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.15.06 | Permalink |

HAWAII: NO COFFEE BOOST FOR ALOHA STATE REPUBLICANS.
Hawaii Republicans' very slim hopes of taking advantage of Democratic Party strife in the US Senate race faded further as motivational speaker Jerry Coffee suspended his campaign. According to the Honolulu Advertiser, Coffee, 72, a former Vietnam prisoner of war and retired Navy captain, suspended his campaign after undergoing heart bypass surgery last week. A statement on Coffee's website states he is expected to make a full recovery. However, Coffee's son and campaign spokesman told the Advertiser that Coffee was unlikely to revive the campaign even if he had a speedy recovery. Coffee was supported by most of the state's prominent Republicans, including Governor Linda Lingle. The five remaining Republicans are virtual unknowns. On the Democratic side, incumbent Senator Dan Akaka continues to face a highly competitive primary challenge from Congressman Ed Case.
Writer: Steve Urey - 08.15.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Anything else going on in politics?

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.15.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: Farmer and liberal activist Jean Hay Bright, Democrat for US Senate in Maine.

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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

LOUISIANA: CANDIDATE FILING CLOSES.
Embattled Congressman Bill Jefferson (D) -- who faces a looming federal indictment on bribery and other corruption charges -- drew a dozen challengers by the time candidate filing in the state closed Friday evening. Of his CD-2 challengers, three are significant: State Representative Karen Carter (D), former State Representative Troy Carter (D), and State Senator Derrick Shepherd (D). The two Carters are not related. All thirteen candidates, including Jefferson, will compete in the November 7 open primary. If no candidate captures a majority of the vote, the top two finishers -- regardless of party -- will face-off in a December run-off. The CD-2 seat is safely Democratic. Congressman Charlie Melancon (D) is facing a competitive rematch against State Senator Craig Romero (R) in CD-3. Melancon narrowly won the 2004 open seat election. While all of the other congressional incumbents drew opponents, none face any serious challenge. Voters will also cast ballots September 30 in special elections for Secretary of State and State Insurance Commissioner. Republicans are certain to win the Insurance Commissioner race, as no Democrats filed for the job.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.14.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
CONNECTICUT - US SENATE: US Senator Joe Lieberman (Independent) - 46%, businessman Ned Lamont (D) - 40%, former State Representative Alan Schlesinger (R) - 6%. (Rasmussen Reports).
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - GOP PRIMARY: Attorney General Charlie Crist - 50%, State CFO Tom Gallagher - 26%. (St. Petersburg Times/Schroth).
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Congressman Jim Davis - 35%, State Senator Rod Smith - 21%. (St. Petersburg Times/Schroth).
FLORIDA - US SENATE- GOP PRIMARY:
Congresswoman Katherine Harris - 28%, attorney Will McBride - 11%, retired Navy Admiral LeRoy Collins Jr. - 9%, developer Peter Monroe - 5%. (St. Petersburg Times/Schroth).
HAWAII - US SENATE - DEM PRIMARY: US Senator Dan Akaka - 47%, Congressman Ed Case - 45%. (Rasmussen Reports).
KENTUCKY - CONGRESS - CD-4: Congressman Geoff Davis (R) - 46%, former Congressman Ken Lucas (D) - 44%. (WCPO-TV/SurveyUSA).
MASSACHUSETTS - GOVERNOR - (Rasmussen Reports):
Former US Assistant Attorney General Deval Patrick (D) - 39%, Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey (R) - 29%, businessman Christy Mihos (Independent) - 14%.
Venture capitalist Chris Gabrieli (D) - 47%, Healey (R) - 27%, Mihos (Independent) - 10%.
Attorney General Tom Reilly (D) - 40%, Healey (R) - 28%, Mihos (Independent) - 16%.
MONTANA - US SENATE: US Senator Conrad Burns (R) - 47%, State Senate President Jon Tester (D) - 47%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEVADA - US SENATE: US Senator John Ensign (R) - 54%, businessman Jack Carter (D) - 33%. (Las Vegas Review-Journal/Mason-Dixon).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.14.06 | Permalink |

FLORIDA: OFF-BEAT NEWS FROM TWO STATE LEGISLATIVE RACES.
RANDALL TERRY (R): State Senate candidate Randall Terry (R) -- best known for founding the anti-abortion group Operation Rescue in the 1980s -- has taken a lesson from the playbook of various successful races over the last few years: comedy. Terry has begun a series of automated calls going to the 43,000 Republican homes in the district. The recorded messages feature a voice impersonation of former President Bill Clinton "endorsing" Terry's GOP primary opponent, centrist incumbent State Senator Jim King. "I'm a Ronald Reagan conservative [and] Senator King is a Ted Kennedy Republican," claimed Terry. "Who better to tell the story than Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy?" Terry and Clinton crossed paths during the 1992 Presidential campaign, when Terry arranged to have one of his followers unexpectedly hand an aborted fetus to Clinton. Terry served five months in jail for that stunt. Since then, Terry ran for office several times in New York before recently moving to Florida. Terry is trying to use the Terri Schiavo case -- as King did not support state efforts to interfere in the Schiavo matter -- as his wedge issue with Religious Right conservatives in the primary. Writer: Bill Greene.
IRV SLOSBERG (D): Wealthy State Representative Irv Slosberg is running for an open State Senate seat in the upcoming primary. To win support, he is taking to spending money on outrageous gifts to win voter support. He's taken large groups of 75 seniors to free dinners at Chinese restaurants. Since he picks up the tab, Slosberg refers to the outings as "Irvy Bird Specials." Slosberg has also announced his own hurricane relief plan if South Florida is hit again with serious storms. He purchased four refrigerated trucks and claims he placed them on "stand-by" status -- all part of what he calls "the Slosberg Emergency Management Aid (SEMA)" -- to distribute ice and water to residents. Slosberg's self-aggrandizing spending goes on and on, which is why local newspapers have endorsed his primary opponent (who, sadly, has his own self-aggrandizing and cheesy campaign song playing at the top of his website).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.14.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
This weekend produced little political news related to the upcoming elections -- so I'll instead amusingly note a new political party: The Pirate Party. They group is already fielding a congressional candidate this year in Iowa's CD-1. FYI, the name does not refer to any Johnny Depp or Blackbeard style pirates. "We've chosen to adopt the Pirate name so as to pay homage to the creative artists of the past, or as they would now be known, Pirates, thieves, and copyright infringers," the group explains.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.14.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: Retired college professor and economist Bill Peirce, Libertarian for Ohio Governor.

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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

OREGON: WESTLUND ENDS INDY RUN FOR GOVERNOR.
State Senator Ben Westlund (Independent) unexpectedly withdrew from the race for Governor on Thursday. "At the beginning of this campaign, I made a commitment to the people of Oregon, and that was: I was in it to win it, and that I absolutely would not play a spoiler role. Therefore, today, with no regrets (but some sadness) I am here to honor that commitment," Westlund wrote on his campaign website. He said he took some satisfaction that his campaign "rekindled Oregon's political center." According to the AP, Westlund saw that he was still in the 5-14% range -- depending on the poll -- and explained "he didn't want to be a 'spoiler' candidate ... skimming off just enough votes from the [Democratic Governor Ted] Kulongoski camp to give Republican challenger Ron Saxton the victory." Interestingly, Westlund was a Republican legislator -- albeit a pro-choice, pro-gay rights, pro-universal health care Republican -- until he launched his campaign a few months ago. Kulongoski immediately praised Westlund, saying that "Ben has been a partner over the years in the legislature and he remains a critical partner in the State Senate in our effort to create affordable health care, energy independence and continue growing our economy to provide living wage jobs to the people of Oregon." Saxton's campaign declined to issue any immediate statement. Westlund had already collected more than enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. His withdrawal is expected to shift momentum in the race towards Kulongoski. Also running are former TV news anchor and pro-life activist Mary Starrett (Constitution), retired accountant Richard Morley (Libertarian), and environmental activist Joe Keating (Pacific Greens).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.11.06 | Permalink |

TEXAS: HOUSE RACE DEVELOPMENTS IN CD-22, CD-23.
With Tom DeLay (R) again out of the CD-22 contest, Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace (R) announced he will run as a write-in in the general election. Wallace's entry does not preclude other write-in hopefuls -- including other Republicans -- from jumping into the race. The Texas Republican Party has vowed to actively support just one GOP write-in hopeful for the seat. Filing for write-ins closes September 1. There is also news involving one of the five recently redrawn districts. With candidate filing reopened through August 25, progressive former Congressman Ciro Rodriguez (D) jumped into the CD-23 race against Congressman Henry Bonilla (R). "It's not going to be easy, but it's doable," Rodriguez told the San Antonio Express-News. Rodriguez lost the primary earlier this year in CD-28 to Congressman Henry Cuellar, President Bush's proclaimed "favorite" House Democrat.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.11.06 | Permalink |

ABORTION: MS. MAGAZINE BRINGS BACK CONTROVERSIAL AD CAMPAIGN.
In 1972 -- one year before the famous Roe v. Wade ruling -- Ms. magazine ran a very controversial ad campaigns in which 53 prominent American women publicly declared they had undergone abortions and supported liberalizing abortion rights. Among the women were Billie Jean King, Susan Sontag, Anais Nin and Ms. founder Gloria Steinem. Now, with Roe under assault from the right and state-level actions like the South Dakota abortion ban, Ms. is bringing back the "I Had An Abortion" ad. The magazine is encouraging women who have had abortions to openly add their names to a 2006 version of the "I Had An Abortion" ad. "We must put a human face on the abortion issue. Ms. calls on women who have had abortions to step forward publicly by signing our petition, which we will send to Congress, the White House, and state legislators. Politicians need to know that their decisions affect their neighbors, their colleagues, influential movers and shakers, and even their own daughters," said Ms. magazine executive editor Katherine Spillar.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.11.06 | Permalink |

CONNECTICUT: DOES THE LAMONT-LIEBERMAN MESSAGE PLAY IN PEORIA?
With nearly two days passed since the victory of businessman Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Democratic Primary for US Senate, it already appears that the fallout from this result could have serious implications on the national shape of the midterm elections in November. It's still too early to tell, though, how it will play out in other states. Many Republicans are outright gleeful over the defeat, believing that it provides credibility to their argument that the Democrats, as put by GOP Chair Ken Mehlman, are carrying on the banner of "isolationism, defeatism, and a 'blame America first' attitude," and that moderates "risk being purged." GOP leaders are even described liberal federal candidates as "Ned Lamont Democrats" -- but it seems a stretch to think voters outside Connecticut even know what that means (as most cannot name their own US Senators). In several Senate and Congressional races throughout the country, Republicans are planning to exploit the situation as a campaign issue, especially in battleground races where they wish to paint the Democratic candidates, many of whom hail from the moderate wing of the party, as being part of a party that is controlled by the far left. The Senate race in Missouri is one such race, where US Senator Jim Talent's (R) campaign supporters are launching an attack on his opponent, State Auditor Claire McCaskill (D), asking whether she supports Ned Lamont and the "wishes of the angry left." Still, Democratic leaders, who have for the most part solidified in unity behind Lamont after the primary, are optimistic. DNC Chairman Howard Dean commented on the record high turnout in the election and thought it a sign of a highly motivated and energized Democratic electorate. Other Democratic strategists say Republicans are making a major mistake if they think criticizing anti-war candidates as being on the "radical left" when national polls regularly show over 60% of Americans say they oppose the Iraq War.
Writer: Preston Caldwell - 08.11.06 | Permalink |

CALIFORNIA: LT GOV NOMINEE DISTANCES HIMSELF FROM MEL GIBSON.
California Lieutenant Governor nominee Tom McClintock (R) has decided to halt further of a three-page fundraising letter written on his behalf by actor Mel Gibson. The campaign has already used the letter in four series of mailings, sent each time to prospective new donors. "Tom saw the news and the situation as it was unfolding with Mel Gibson and made a conscious decision to direct people not to use the letter any further," said the State Senator's spokesman. In the letter, Gibson explained how he usually avoids politics, but decided to help McClintock because of the staunchly conservative positions he took in the 2003 gubernatorial election. "He stood solidly for principles that might not be politically correct — but were right and true," wrote Gibson.
Writer: Ben Wisniewski - 08.11.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
I'm having trouble deciding which annoying TV spots I hate the most these days: "HeadOn
, Applied Directly to the Forehead" and the "Dr. Z" car commercials are leading my list.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.11.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: Former Lima Law Director Rick Siferd, Democrat for Congress in Ohio's CD-4.

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THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

FLORIDA: GALLAGHER CONTEMPLATES QUITTING GOV RACE, BUT KEEPS RUNNING.
State CFO Tom Gallagher (R) -- strongly backed by Religious Right activists in his race for Florida Governor -- appeared Wednesday morning on the brink of quitting the race. Gallagher has trailed fiscal conservative Attorney General Charlie Crist (R) by wide double-digit margins for months. As Gallagher moved sharply to the right -- criticizing Crist for having praised the Terri Schiavo judges as "heroes" and for recently saying he was "fine" with having the state recognize same-sex civil unions -- he expected to see the gap narrow. Yet, after raising over $9 million to date (versus $11 million for Crist), Crist's primary advantage appears as solid as ever. The Miami Herald reported Gallagher spent the past few days talking to supporters and considering all his options. "Tom is evaluating -- with his family and his friends -- what is best for him and what is best for the Republican Party," said a campaign spokesman. However, by Wednesday evening, it appeared Gallagher has decided to stay in the contest. Gallagher told the AP he will continue his run -- but decided he will not mount a negative campaign against Crist. Instead, Gallagher says he hopes his more social conservative vision will be sufficient for him to win the primary.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.10.06 | Permalink |

CONNECTICUT: LOSING JOEMENTUM WITH DEMS ... BUT ROVE OFFERS HELP FOR LIEBERMAN.
One day after narrowly losing his Democratic primary for renomination, US Senator Joe Lieberman discovered his road as an Independent candidate may be lonlier than he anticipated. US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, DCCC Chair Senator Chuck Schumer, US Senator Hillary Clinton and even longtime Lieberman ally US Senator Chris Dodd all announced their support for challenger Ned Lamont. All of them had backed Lieberman in the primary. Lieberman did get one offer of support Wednesday -- confirmed to the media by his own campaign: White House political advisor Karl Rove spoke with Lieberman, letting him know "whatever we can do [for you], we will do." In related news, Lieberman shook up his campaign team Wednesday by firing his campaign manager and several other senior aides.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.10.06 | Permalink |

PENNSYLVANIA: GREENS LIKELY TO BE BOUNCED FROM STATE BALLOT.
After a review of candidacy petitions filed on behalf of Green Party US Senate candidate Carl Romanelli and gubernatorial candidate Marakay Rogers, Dems plan to file a lawsuit bouncing them off the ballot. State Democratic Chair T.J. Rooney said a detailed review of the petitions -- a signature drive admittedly financed almost entirely by GOP supporters of embattled US Senator Rick Santorum -- showed 69,622 of the 94,544 signatures are likely invalid. "Phony names, fake signatures and a tremendous amount of illegal and deceptive practices were uncovered during our thorough and aggressive analysis," said Rooney. The Dems mocked the submitted petitions for being so sloppy as to contain signatures purporting to be for Jesus Christ, John Kerry, Lee H. Oswald, Terri Schiavo and Mickey Mouse. Romanelli countered the move is a heavy-handed, undemocratic effort to block him from running. Various sources involved in Keystone State politics told Politics1 they are confident the Democratic legal challenge will succeed in disqualifying the statewide Green nominees.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.10.06 | Permalink |

ILLINOIS: CHAMBER MAKES SUPRISING ENDORSEMENT OF FRESHMAN HOUSE DEM.
Congresswoman Melissa Bean (D), who narrowly won her seat in 2004 over an entrenched GOP incumbent, gained a key endorsement in her race against conservative businessman David McSweeney. Running in the conservative suburbs of Chicago, Bean won the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a group which typically backs Republican candidates. The Chamber praised Bean as "a strong, independent voice ... [who] understands what it takes to create a healthy business climate and promote local job growth." Bean has been under fire from pro-labor groups in her district for her support of the free trade CAFTA treaty. However, in this conservative seat, support from business might prove to be more valuable to Bean than a base of labor backers. With the support of the Chamber comes a $400,000 early TV ad buy for Bean. With the wealthy McSweeney pledging to spend "as much as it takes" to win this seat, the Chamber's money is a big boost for Bean. Bean must also deal with a challenge from the left by liberal attorney and peace candidate Bill Scheurer (Independent).
Writer: Kevin Rubenstein - 08.10.06 | Permalink |

KENTUCKY: FLETCHER SEEKS TO STYMIE POSSIBLE GOP RIVAL.
In a not-so-subtle announcement last week, Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) mentioned he might challenge unpopular current Governor Ernie Fletcher (R) in the Bluegrass State’s 2007 gubernatorial primary. Fletcher countered and spoke openly about his disapproval of Grayson's remarks -- including in an interview with the Lexington Herald Leader -- because the rising GOP star did not speak with him first regarding the statements. According to The Bluegrass Report, Fletcher is now quietly getting even by telling fellow Republicans to skip a fundraiser for Grayson later this week. Though several high-ranking state GOP officials -- such as State Senate President David Williams -- have asked Fletcher not to seek re-election, Fletcher vows to press on despite his problems arising from a state hiring scandal. Ironically, Grayson is from Boone County in Northern Kentucky -- one of the state’s reddest regions. Though he would logically receive solid backing from his conservative home area, the region’s distinct partisan tilt have led it to be one of Fletcher's few bastions of consistent popularity in the state, with numerous local lawmakers recently voicing their unwavering support for the embattled governor. Look for this intra-party race to heat up right after Election Day 2006.
Writer: Chuck Sambuchino - 08.10.06 | Permalink |

CONGRESS: POLITICAL CLIMATE STUDIES.
Voters' approval ratings of both Congress as a whole and their particular representatives in the House mirrors that of twelve years ago, the last time the majority party was voted out of power in both the House and Senate according the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, conducted August 3rd through 6th. The Washington Post reported that the anti-incumbent sentiment is the strongest it has been since 1994, with 60% disapproving of Congress's performance as a whole and just 55% approving of the way his or her representative in the House is handling his or her job. Individual representative approval rates have hovered between 59 and 74 percent between 1994 and now. The recent dip of seven percentage points in voters' approval ratings of their representatives in the past three months is "dramatic" according to Republican political consultant Ed Rollins, former White House political director for Ronald Reagan. Fifty-three percent of the 1,002 adults surveyed described themselves as anti-incumbent and only 29% said they were inclined to reelect legislators, nearly identical numbers as seen in June of 1994 on the eve of the Republicans' sweeping out the Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress. The margin of error in the poll is plus or minus three percent.
Writer: David Fisher - 08.10.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Due to the recent US Supreme Court ruling redrawing Texas congressional lines in five districts -- CD's 15, 21, 23, 25 and 28 -- candidate filing has been reopened for the new districts. The new filing deadline is August 25. The changes also threw out the March primary results for those districts. Instead, all candidates will compete in special election open primaries on Election Day in November. If any candidate fails to win a majority in November, the top two finishers (regardless of party) will advance to a December run-off.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.10.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: Writer and former radio talk show host Daniel "Wig Man" Vovak, Republican for US Senate in Maryland.

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WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE: THREE FEDERAL INCUMBENTS OUSTED!

CONNECTICUT: LAMONT DEFEATS LIEBERMAN, WHO VOWS TO FIGHT ON AS INDY.
As had been expected for the past few weeks, wealthy businessman and peace candidate Ned Lamont defeated US Senator Joe Lieberman for renomination by a 52% to 48% vote in the Democratic primary. Lieberman vowed to continue his campaign as an Independent hopeful in the general election. "I called Ned Lamont and congratulated him on his success today. As I see it, in this campaign, we've just finished the first half and the Lamont team is ahead, but in the second half, our team -- Team Connecticut -- is going to surge forward to victory in November," said Lieberman. Democratic leaders are expected to rally behind Lamont now, pressuring Lieberman to quit the contest. However, as Lieberman already promised to caucus with the Democrats if elected as an Independent, the seat is still safely DEM in terms of the November outcome. The pathetic GOP nominee -- who will not be a factor -- is so flawed that his own party has tried without success for a month now to force him to quit the race. US Senate Race Rating: Toss-Up (between Lamont and Lieberman). In the the Dem gubernatorial primary, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano defeated Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy by slim 51% to 49% vote -- while Malloy's Lieutenant Governor runningmate Mary Glassman easily won the #2 spot in the primary by a 14% margin. The primary outcome likely won't matter as incumbent Governor Jodi Rell (R) is regularly rated as one of the three most popular governors in the nation. Governor Race Rating: Safe GOP. In CD-1, TV news director Scott MacLean handily defeated research scientist Miriam Masullo in the GOP primary for the right to lose in November to safe Congressman John Larsen (D).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.09.06 | Permalink |

GEORGIA: McKINNEY SUFFERS LANDSLIDE DEFEAT.
DeKalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson ousted controversial and erratic Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney in the CD-4 Democratic run-off by a surprisingly wide margin. Johnson defeated the volatile and outspoken McKinney by a 59% to 41% vote. McKinney drew national headlines when she punched a Capitol police officer earlier this year, then made a full apology on the House floor in a deal to avoid indictment. This was an astounding second Congressional renomination defeat for McKinney. In a bizarre end to her campaign, McKinney attempted singing the anti-Bush protest song by Pink and the Indigo Girls called "Dear Mr. President" in lieu of any concession speech, then offered just one sentence for gathered reporters and supporters: "I wish the new representative of the 4th Congressional District well." Johnson will only face nominal opposition in the general election. In the race for Lieutenant Governor, former State Representative Jim Martin (D) won the run-off by a wide 22% margin.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.09.06 | Permalink |

MICHIGAN: RELIGIOUS RIGHT CONSERVATIVE OUSTS GOP CENTRIST SCHWARZ .
Centrist GOP freshman Congressman Joe Schwarz -- a leading target of the conservative Club for Growth -- lost his race for renomination in CD-7. Evangelical minister and former State Representative Tim Walberg defeated Schwarz by a 55% to 45% vote. The Club for Growth and National Right to Life spent over a million dollars in their campaign to oust Schwarz, whom they attacked as "a liberal" and a RINO. "Iím a gentleman who has lived a lot of years. You pick yourself up and tomorrow morning you hit the ground running and never look back ... We never pandered to anyone. I stuck to my principles [but] in the end, [we] donít have enough votes," said Schwarz, in his concession remarks. Schwarz did not immediately endorse Wallberg. President Bush, Senator John McCain and others visited to district to help Schwarz unsuccessfully defend his seat. CD-7 Race Rating: Safe GOP. Conservative Congressman Joe Knollenberg (R) successfully turned back an energetic primary challenge from centrist Oakland School Board Member Pan Godchaux by a 2-to-1 margin. In the race against US Senator Debbie Stabenow (D), Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard easily captured the Republican nomination over evangelical bishop Keith Butler. US Senate Race Rating: Safe DEM.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.09.06 | Permalink |

COLORADO: LAMBORN, PERLMUTTER WIN OPEN CONGRESSIONAL PRIMARIES.
In the open CD-5 contest for the seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Joel Hefley (R), State Senator Doug Lamborn narrowly edged past former Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce executive Jeff Crank in the six-way field nearly all votes counted. Lamborn was the most social conservative of the Republicans in the race. Crank was Hefley's endorsed successor. CD-5 Race Rating: GOP Favored. In the open CD-7 swing seat race -- being vacated due to Congressman Bob Beauprez's (R) run for Governor -- former State Senator Ed Perlmutter won the Democratic nomination by a nearly 20-point advantage over his former State Representative Peggy Lamm. Perlmutter will face (D) held a sufficiently wide margin that it appeared he will win the contest when all the votes are tabulated. State Higher Education Commission Chair Rick O'Donnell, who lost the 2002 primary to Beauprez, is the GOP nominee. CD-7 Race Rating: Toss-Up.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.09.06 | Permalink |

MISSOURI: NO SURPRISES ON PRIMARY DAY.
Not much excitement in Missouri on Tuesday. US Senator Jim Talent (R) and State Auditor Claire McCaskill (D) easily won their respective Senate primaries -- with 88% and 79%, respectively -- and will meet in November in what is expected to be one of the hottest races in the nation. US Senate Race Rating: Toss-Up. Congressman Todd Akin (R) had no trouble turning back a primary challenge from State Representative Sherman Parker by a lopsided 6-to-1 margin. The other Congressional incumbents also easily fended off their various primary challenges.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.09.06 | Permalink |

TEXAS: DeLAY TO QUIT HOUSE RACE, GOP TO RUN WRITE-IN NOMINEE.
One day after US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia rejected the Texas Republican Party's appeal of the federal court ruling that former US House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R) cannot be replaced on the November ballot, DeLay said he would again make clear he has irrevocably withdrawn from the race. Instead, DeLay plans to support whomever the GOP runs as the write-in candidate for the CD-22 seat against former Congressman Nick Lampson (D). Based upon these developments, we're changing our race rating to Leans DEM.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.09.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Mark yesterday on your calendars, folks, as it will likely be many years until you ever again see three congressional incumbents ousted on the same primary day.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.09.06 | Permalink |

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TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

Editor's Note: The Haloscan service we use for blog commenting is having major problems today ... so my apologies for any slowdowns it may be causing in page loading speed.

PRIMARY DAY: "BLACK TUESDAY" LOOMS FOR THREE INCUMBENTS.
Voters go to the polls in five states on Tuesday, casting ballots that seem likely to end to political careers of several federal incumbents. US Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) and Congressman Joe Schwarz (R-MI) all appear headed towards defeat, for very different reasons. In the case of Lieberman, his staunch support for the Iraq War and attempts to build bipartisan bridges with the Bush Administration appear to have doomed his campaign. Lieberman now trails his wealthy primary challenger -- businessman Ned Lamont -- by several points. Lieberman vows to continue his campaign into the general election as an Independent if he loses the primary, but look for Dem leaders to quickly put heavy pressure on Lieberman to pull the plug on an Indy run. US Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) told USA Today that Lieberman will abandon his Independent candidacy if he finishes more than ten points behind Lamont in the primary. In Georgia, the controversial McKinney may champion progressive causes, but progressives long have tired of apologizing for her embarrassing political and personal antics. Look for DeKalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson -- who shares nearly all of McKinney's progressive views, but doesn't carry the baggage -- to handily defeat her in the run-off. In Michigan, as we reported yesterday, Congressman Joe Schwarz (R) appears headed to defeat against a Religious Right opponent he edged out in the crowded 2004 primary. Former State Representative and minister Tim Walberg -- backed by the big bucks of the Club for Growth -- seems poised to oust the freshman incumbent. In a mirror opposite of the Schwarz-Walberg race, conservative Congressman Joe Knollenberg (R) is facing an energetic primary challenge from centrist Oakland Schools Board Member Pan Godchaux -- but Knollenberg should survive by a comfortable margin. The Lamont and Walberg victories will, respectively, embolden political activists on the left-wing of the Dems and right-wing of the GOP. In the polarized world of US politics, the middle is a rapidly vanishing place. I cannot recall a single primary day in modern politics that saw three federal incumbents lose renomination battles. Other key races to watch on Tuesday include the open seat primaries in Colorado's CD-5 and CD-7, the GOP primary for US Senate in Michigan, and the Democratic primary for Connecticut Governor.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger (Chuck Sambuchino contributed to this article) - 08.08.06 | Permalink |

OHIO: NA NA NA, NA NA NA, HEY NEY, GOODBYE.
Embattled Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) -- who appears to be facing a looming corruption indictment in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal -- announced Monday he will not seek re-election. "Ultimately this decision came down to my family. I must think of them first, and I can no longer put them through this ordeal," Ney explained to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Ney, who resigned under pressure earlier this year as the House Administration Committee Chair, has been battered in news reports for his close ties to Abramoff. In May, former Ney aide-turned-Abramoff lobbyist Neil Volz pled guilty on felony counts on conspiracy and violating lobbying laws. Volz also agreed to testify against the Congressman in the ongoing federal investigations by the Justice Department and FBI. Ney, who had won a lopsided primary victory against financial anaylst James Harris, faced a difficult challenge in November against progressive Dover Law Director Zack Space (D). State Senator Joy Padgett -- whom Ney called to say he was withdrawing from the race -- told the AP she would seek to be the replacement GOP nominee for Ney's seat. Under Ohio election law, Republicans are required to hold a special primary to replace Ney on the ballot for the general election. Ney and House Majority Leader John Boehner quickly endorsed Padgett for the seat. No other Republicans immediately emerged as potential primary challengers, but there is still time for others to jump in. The Secretary of State's office is researching whether the Ohio "sore loser" provision in state law would prevent Padgett from running. The law appears to prevent a candidate who lost a primary to run again in the same election cycle. There is no certainly Padgett -- who was Attorney General Jim Petro's runningmate for Lieutenant Governor in this year's primary -- would be any stronger than Ney. "Joy Padgett is tied at the hip to the most corrupt politicians in Ohio: Bob Ney, Bob Taft and Jim Petro. For Joy Padgett, being handpicked by Ney … is quite an indictment," said Space's spokesman. Padgett served several years as a top-ranking state agency director in the Taft Administration before her 2004 election to the State Senate. State Senator Jay Hottinger (R) was mentioned as another possible replacment candidate -- but he quickly told reporters he won't run because of the timing. "I think [Ney] was about 90 days late in doing this," said Hottinger.
Contrbuting Writers: David Jimenez, Jo Valentine-Cooper, Christopher Vari & Raymond Smalley - 08.08.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
COLORADO - CONGRESS - CD-7 - DEM PRIMARY: Former State Senator Ed Perlmutter - 49%, former State Representative Peggy Lamm - 37%, attorney Herb Rubenstein - 8%. (KUSA-TV/SurveyUSA).
GEORGIA - CONGRESS - CD-4 - DEM RUN-OFF: DeKalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson - 53%, Congressman Cynthia McKinney - 40%. (Insider Advantage).
MICHIGAN - US SENATE - GOP PRIMARY: Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard - 56%, minister Keith Butler - 33%. (WDIV-TV/SurveyUSA).
MINNESOTA - GOVERNOR: Governor Tim Pawlenty (R) - 46%, Attorney General Mike Hatch (D) - 36%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MINNESOTA - US SENATE: Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar (D) - 50%, Congressman Mark Kenendy (R) - 38%. (Rasmussen Reports).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.08.06 | Permalink |

PENNSYLVANIA: RENDELL UNEXPECTEDLY PRAISES SANTORUM.
US Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) is receiving support from an unlikely source: Governor, Ed Rendell (D-PA). In an interview with the conservative magazine Weekly Standard, Rendell stated "Rick Santorum has proven that he gets the job done. Time and time again he has come through." Although Rendell says he is supporting Bob Casey's candidacy against Santorum but will not attack Santorum. "I will eventually campaign with Casey, but, no, you won't see me attack Santorum," Democrats are concerned such praise could help Santorum, who has already incorporated the Rendell comments into a new commercial.
Writer: Douglas Price, - 08.08.06 | Permalink |

UTAH: LIBERAL SLC DEM MAYOR TAPS GOP AS SUCCESSOR.
Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, an outspoken liberal Democrat, surprised a lot of people this past week by endorsing Republican City Councilman Keith Christensen as his replacement in 2007. Anderson, who recently announced he will not seek a third term in office, has been praised by progressives for his environmentally-friendly policies. However, he has alienated many Utahns with his brash style and his clashes with staffers and members of the press. He has been in particular conflict with certain members of the City Council, including Democrat Nancy Saxton, who also plans to run for Mayor in 2007. Anderson’s endorsement of a Republican is troubling to many Democrats because Salt Lake City is one of the few left-leaning areas of Utah, one of the nation’s reddest states. No Republican has been Mayor of the state capital since the 1970s. Christensen recently switched his views in favor of supporting health benefits for gay domestic partnerships, something Anderson has long advocated. In fact, Anderson recently co-signed a full-page national newspaper ad endorsing same-sex marriage. However, the two men remain a political odd couple. Christensen is a devout Mormon, while Anderson is a notoriously lapsed one. Christensen also still criticizes Anderson’s decision to protest President Bush’s 2005 visit to Salt Lake City.
Writer: Jay Rogers - 08.08.06 | Permalink |

TEXAS: US SUPREME COURT REJECTS DeLAY APPEAL.
The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to issue a stay of the lower court orders rejecting GOP plans to replace former US House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R) on the November ballot. The courts found DeLay's withdrawal from the race was voluntary, thus preventing the party from replacing DeLay in the general election. DeLay must now decide whether he wants to seek re-election or withdraw to let the party attempt to run a write-in candidate against former Congressman Nick Lampson (D). Businessman Bob Smither (Libertarian) is also running.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.08.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Just two random and amusing observations, apropos of nothing, I noticed:
1. Remember the Howard Dean's online fundraising bats in 2004 that helped power him to over $50 million in fundraising? Then check out the website of US Senate candidate Eddie Pirkowski (R-HI). On his online fundraising chart, he's set an imposing fundraising goal of $200. Good thing, however, that he set the bar so low. To date, Pirkowski's collected, ummm ... nothing, nada, zilch.
2. The candidate photo featuring a cute pet dog is a fairly de rigueur in campaign literature. However, a candidate doing the family pose while holding his pet iguana strikes me as rather unusual.
And, yes, I know Haloscan is pretty much sucks these days, but I'm stuck with it for now. Please be patient on the commening if it doesn't quickly respond.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger -08.08.06 | Permalink |

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MONDAY NEWS UPDATE.

MICHIGAN: CENTRIST GOP CONGRESSMAN MAY LOSE PRIMARY.
Republicans are gleefully wagging their fingers at progressive Democrats, scolding them for trying to dump US Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) in favor of an unapologetic liberal on Tuesday because of the incumbent's support for the Iraq War. Yet, in Michigan's CD-7, the opposite is happening. GOP social conservatives are trying to dump centrist Congressman Joe Schwarz because they complain he's too moderate. Outside groups have already spent over $1 million in primary advertising. The freshman Schwarz -- a surgeon, Vietnam War veteran and former CIA agent -- is a close ally of US Senator John McCain (R-AZ). Schwarz is being challenged by social conservative minister and former legislator Tim Walberg, whom Schwarz defeated in the six-way primary in 2004. Two years ago, Schwarz won with just 28% of the vote when a large pack of social conservatives split the Religious Right base. Walberg finished third in 2004 with 18%. This year Walberg is running one-on-one against Schwarz and he's argues Schwarz is not a true conservative. The Club for Growth is unapologetic in backing primary challengers against Schwarz and other GOP moderates. "The more races in which we're able to help good, pro-growth, limited government candidates win, the better the chances Republicans have of holding the House ... We're the voice out there saying 'Hey guys, the Republican Party's got to stand for something,'" said CFG President Pat Toomey. In fact, McCain, President Bush and the NRA have all endorsed Schwarz in the primary. Despite the heavyweight backing for the incumbent, Walberg's pitch seems to gaining support on among hard-core Republican primary voters. "I would not be surprised to see Walberg win by 55-45 or so vote [if the] turnout is below the 73,500 votes cast in 2004," said a reliable source associated with Schwarz's campaign.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.07.06 | Permalink |

MISSOURI:PRIMARY PREVIEW.
Tuesday's Missouri primary is the calm before the storm of the November election. After disposing of token opposition incumbent, US Senator Jim Talent (R) and State Auditor Claire McCaskill (D) will square off in what will be one of the most hotly contested and nasty races in the country. Recent polls show the race at a dead heat and Democrats have targeted Missouri as one of their best chances to pick up a seat. Another issue that is gearing up for November is a state initiative to protect stem cell research, an issue that will figure into the Senate race as well. Other than the US Senate race the only statewide contest on the ballot is the primary for State Auditor. The candidates, five Republicans and two Democrats, have more interest in the race than the voters. The only candidate to stand out in the quiet scrabble is Republican Jack Jackson, a former test pilot and legislator. Jackson's campaign had an unexpected boost when his campaign plane hit a deer on takeoff. One of his campaign aides -- with him on the plane -- is married to St. Louis anchorwoman Mandy Murphy, who reported on the near crash live on the air. The small number of "Show Me" state voters who turn out for the primary will be the first to try new electronic voting machines. Unless a challenge form the ACLU succeeds, it will be the last election in which voters will not have to show state photo IDs, a matter of great concern to older voters who no longer drive or have access to obtain new cards.
Writer and attorney Greg Bailey is the St. Louis correspondent for The Economist - 08.07.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
CONNECTICUT - US SENATE - DEM PRIMARY: Businessman Ned Lamont - 53%, US Senator Joe Lieberman - 43%. (New London Day/Research 2000).
CONNECTICUT - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy - 48%, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano - 38%. (Quinnipiac University).
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - (Rasmussen Reports):
Attorney General Charlie Crist - 47%, Congressman Jim Davis - 42%.
Davis (D) - 44%, State CFO Tom Gallagher (R) - 41%.
Crist (R) - 48%, State Senator Rod Smith (D) - 35%.
Gallagher (R) - 45%, Smith - 40%.
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - GOP PRIMARY:
Crist - 41%, Gallagher - 21%. (Miami Herald/Zogby).
FLORIDA - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Davis - 21%, Smith - 16%, Three Others - 6%. (Miami Herald/Zogby).
GEORGIA - GOVERNOR: Governor Sonny Perdue (R) - 53%, Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor (D) - 39%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEW JERSEY - US SENATE: US Senator Bob Menendez (D) - 44%, State Senator Tom Kean Jr. (R) - 38%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEW YORK- GOVERNOR: Attorney General Eliot Spitzer (D) - 62%, former State Assembly Minority Leader John Faso (R) - 22%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEW YORK- US SENATE: US Senator Hillary Clinton (D) - 61%, former Yonker Mayor John Spencer (R) - 31%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEW YORK- US SENATE: Clinton (D) - 61%, former Defense Department official K.T. McFarland (R) - 31%. (Rasmussen Reports).
PENNSYLVANIA - GOVERNOR: Governor Ed Rendell (D) - 51%, former pro football player Lynn Swann (R) - 35%. (Morning Call/Muhlenberg College).
PENNSYLVANIA - US SENATE: State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) - 45%, US Senator Rick Santorum (R) - 39%. (Morning Call/Muhlenberg College).
SOUTH CAROLINA - GOVERNOR: Governor Mark Sanford (R) - 47%, State Senator Tommy Moore (D) - 38%. (Rasmussen Reports).
WEST VIRGINIA - US SENATE: US Senator Robert C. Byrd (D) - 56%, businessman John Raese (R) - 31%. (Rasmussen Reports).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.07.06 | Permalink |

OHIO: STATE FUNDRAISING RECORD BROKEN ... TWICE ON SAME DAY.
Secretary of State Ken Blackwell's (R) gubernatorial campaign website reported Thursday that he broke the Ohio record for two month fundraising, with $2 million raised during June and July (or about $35,000 a day). The record stood for about ten minutes until rival candidate Congressman Ted Strickland (D) reported he had collected $2.5 million during the same period (or about $44,000 a day). This gives Strickland a slight advantage in the overall fundraising battle at $8.8 million to Blackwell's $8.6 million. However, Strickland enjoys a far larger advantage in cash-on-hand: $5.1 million versus $3.3 million.

Writer: Charley Kidder - 08.07.06 | Permalink |

KENTUCKY: ANOTHER POSSIBLE PRIMARY RIVAL FOR EMBATTLED GOVERNOR.
At one of the Bluegrass State’s most significant political events, Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R) on Saturday floated his own name as a possible candidate for Governor in 2007. The annual Fancy Farm picnic -- which draws elected state officials and candidates -- is the state's premier event for politicos. Grayson became the prime Republican speaker after embattled Governor Ernie Fletcher (R) announced he would not attend the annual gathering. “A lot of people have concerns about [Fletcher's electability]. I have concerns about it,” said Grayson, in response to a question by a Louisville Courier Journal reporter. The newspaper also reported Grayson is being actively recruited by some party leaders to lead a Republican ticket against Fletcher in the 2007 primary. No Republican one has yet to announce a challenge to Fletcher, although Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence (R)

Writer: Ben Harrison - 08.07.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Your turn.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.07.06 | Permalink |

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SATURDAY NEWS UPDATE.

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Have at it.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.05.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
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FRIDAY NEWS UPDATE.

TENNESSEE: CORKER, DAVIS, COHEN WIN HOT PRIMARY CONTESTS.
No real surprises on primary day. Governor Phil Bredesen (D) won his primary with 89% of the vote. State Senator Jim Bryson won the Republican primary for Governor with 53% over six nominal opponents. In the open US Senate contest, wealthy former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker -- the most moderate of the major GOP candidates -- easily dispatched conservative former Congressmen Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary. Corker won 48%, followed by Bryant at 34%, Hilleary at 17%, and businessman Tate Harrison at 1%. Congressman Harold Ford Jr. (D) cruised to an easily primary win with 79% over four minor opponents. Polls show Corker currently holds and advantage over Ford for the seat being vacated by retiring Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R). There were also hot contests for two open Congressional seats: CD-1 (safe GOP) and CD-9 (safe DEM). Thirteen Republicans faced-off for the CD-1 seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Bill Jenkins (R). With around 90% of the vote counted, State Representative David Davis appears to have won with just 23%, followed closely by Sullivan County Executive Richard Venable at 21%. The difference between the two men was less than a thousand votes, but Davis appears to hold a wide enough lead to hold onto his victory. In the largely African-American dominated CD-9 currently held by Ford, the racial mathematics related to the fourteen Democratic candidates helped liberal State Senator Steve Cohen -- the only white candidate in the primary -- win with 29%. Airline executive and former Ford campaign manager Nikki Tinker was second with 27%, with the next nearest candidate at just 14% and all the others lagging far behind. Another white candidate -- businessman Mark White -- also easily won the GOP nomination. Because of the racial dynamics, this seat has the potential for an independent candidate -- Jake Ford, the Congressman's brother -- to win in November. With the Ford family name and progressive views, the same kind of racial split that helped Cohen win on Thursday could be inverted to help Ford win the general election contest as the only black candidate. As Ford would caucus with the Democrats, this seat would remain in Dem hands under either Cohen or Ford.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.04.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
CONNECTICUT - US SENATE - DEM PRIMARY
: Businessman Ned Lamont - 54%, US Senator Joe Lieberman - 41%. (Quinnipiac University).
IOWA - GOVERNOR: Secretary of State Chet Culver D) - 41%, Congressman Jim Nussle (R) - 38%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MASSACHUSETTS - GOVERNOR - DEM PRIMARY: Former US Assistant Attorney General Deval Patrick - 35%, venture capitalist Chris Gabrieli - 30%, Attorney General Tom Reilly - 27%. (WBZ-TV/SurveyUSA).
OREGON - GOVERNOR:
Governor Ted Kulongoski (D) - 45%, former Portland School Board Member Ron Saxton (R) - 35%. (Rasmussen Reports).
PENNSYLVANIA - GOVERNOR: Governor Ed Rendell (D) - 50%, former pro football player Lyn Swann (R) - 40%. (Rasmussen Reports).
PENNSYLVANIA - US SENATE: State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) - 50%, US Senator Rick Santorum (R) - 39%. (Rasmussen Reports).
SOUTH DAKOTA - CONGRESS: Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth (D) - 60%, GOP activist Bruce Whalen (R) - 26%. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader/Mason-Dixon).
SOUTH DAKOTA - CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT - SAME SEX MARRIAGE BAN: For the Ban - 41%, Against the Ban - 49%. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader/Mason-Dixon).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.04.06 | Permalink |

TEXAS: "VOTE FOR ME ... FOR A JOB I DON'T WANT ... SO I CAN RESIGN AGAIN."
The 5th Circuit US Court of Appeals dealt a major setback on Thursday to the Texas Republican Party's plan to replace resigned US House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R) on the November ballot. The court essentially found DeLay voluntarily withdrew from his race after winning the primary. They judges discounted his move to Virginia, noting his wife continued to reside in the couple's homesteaded residence in Texas, and it was purely speculative as to where DeLay would be living on election day. Under Texas law, Republicans have a choice of either running DeLay again or going without any nominee on the ballot. Thus, the appellate ruling forces DeLay to now run for a job from which he already resigned in a state in which he said he no longer desires to reside. Look for the GOP to seek an appeal to the US Supreme Court, although election law experts now think DeLay stands virtually no chance of winning there before the November elections. In additional to being forced to seek reelection, DeLay still is facing money laundering and political corruption charges in an upcoming trial. Democrats are clearly gleeful, as former Congressman Nick Lampson (D) must now be rated the favorite to win the CD-22 seat.
Writer: Ben Meyers - 08.04.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE: A BIT OF EDITORIALIZING BY RON.
Count me among those urging Democratic primary voters in Connecticut -- the state of my birth -- to vote for
wealthy businessman and peace activist Ned Lamont on Tuesday. Incumbent US Senator Joe Lieberman is smart and witty, and usually reflects Democratic ideals in most of his votes. Yet, on the key defining issue of this decade, he has become a pro-Iraq War lackey for the Bush Administration. Democrats who passionately believe in progressive ideals understand we need a watchdog, not a GOP lapdog, in the seat. So, Joe, thank you for your years of dedicated service to our nation and our party. But, with your current unbending hawkish views, your political sun has set. The words of Oliver Cromwell -- spoken to the British Parliament in 1653 -- well summarize my thoughts towards Senator Lieberman: "You have sat too long for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!" On Tuesday, vote for Ned Lamont for Connecticut's US Senator.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.04.06 | Permalink |

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Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.04.06 | Permalink |

THURSDAY NEWS UPDATE.

TENNESSEE: SEVERAL HOT RACES IN THURSDAY'S PRIMARY.
As always, Tennessee voters will see a crowded primary ballot this year. Governor Phil Bredesen (D) and State Senator Jim Bryson (R) will easily win their respective gubernatorial primaries. Bredesen is a safe bet to win big in November. In the open US Senate contest, wealthy former Chattanooga Mayor Bob Corker -- who styles himself as a GOP centrist in the mold of former US Senate Majority Leader Howard Baker -- is expected the capture the Republican nomination. GOP conservatives are split between former Congressmen Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary, splitting the anti-Corker vote. Congressman Harold Ford Jr. (D) will easily defeat his four minor opponents. There are also hot contests for two open Congressional seats: CD-1 (safe GOP) and CD-9 (safe DEM). Thirteen Republicans are facing-off for the CD-1 seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Bill Jenkins (R). Of the large pack, the frontrunners are State Representative David Davis, wealthy businessman Richard Roberts, Johnson City Commissioner Phil Roe and Sullivan County Executive Richard Venable. Any of these four could win -- and will likely do so with less than 25% of the primary vote. In CD-9 -- a largely African-American dominated district currently held by Ford -- the racial mathematics related to the fourteen candidates appears likely to determine the winner. State Senator Steve Cohen is the only white candidate in the race, and will certainly benefit by the 13-way split of the black vote by his primary opponents. Local black leaders pleaded with the candidates to coalesce behind one or two black candidates, but it never happened. Although a distant cousin of Ford is running in the primary, the Ford machine seems split between airline executive and former Ford campaign manager Nikki Tinker (endorsed by EMILY's List) and attorney Ed Stanton. The largest newspaper in the district, the Memphis Commercial Appeal, endorsed Cohen. Look for Cohen and Tinker to place ahead of the field, with Cohen likely to squeak out a narrow victory with less than 20% of the vote. In an interesting twist, the Congressman's brother -- Jake -- also filed for the seat as an Independent.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.03.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
GEORGIA - CONGRESS - CD-4 - DEM RUN-OFF: DeKalb County Commissioner Hank Johnson - 49%, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney - 34%. (Insider Advantage-R).
ARIZONA - GOVERNOR: Governor Janet Napolitano (D) - 52%, businessman Don Goldwater (R) - 37%. (Rasmussen Reports).
ARIZONA - US SENATE: US Senator Jon Kyl (R) - 53%, former State Democratic Chair Jim Pederson (D) - 34%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MICHIGAN - GOVERNOR: Businessman Dick DeVos (R) - 48%, Governor Jennifer Granholm (D) - 42%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MAINE - GOVERNOR:
Governor John Baldacci (D) - 43%, State Senator Chandler Woodcock (R) - 37%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MAINE - US SENATE: US Senator Olympia Snowe (R) - 69%, liberal activist Jean Hay Bright (D) - 22%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEVADA - US SENATE: US Senator John Ensign (R) - 46%, investment consultant Jack Carter (D) - 39%. (Rasmussen Reports).
NEW HAMPSHIRE - CONGRESS - CD-1: Congressman Jeb Bradley (R) - 55%, State House Minority Leader Jim Craig (D) - 27%. (University of New Hampshire).
NEW HAMPSHIRE - CONGRESS - CD-1: Bradley (R) - 58%, Democratic activist Carol Shea-Porter (D) - 24%. (University of New Hampshire).
NEW HAMPSHIRE - CONGRESS - CD-2: Congressman Charlie Bass (R) - 53%, attorney Paul Hodes (D) - 25%. (University of New Hampshire).

TENNESSEE - US SENATE - GOP PRIMARY: Bob Corker - 45%, Ed Bryant - 31%, Van Hilleary - 20%, Tate Harrison - 1%. (WBIR-TV/SurveyUSA).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.03.06 | Permalink |

CONGRESS: IRAQ WAR HITS HOME WITH TWO LAWMAKER FAMILIES.
Over the weekend in Iraq’s Al Anbar province, Marine Corporal Phillip Baucus -- nephew of US Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) -- was killed in combat operations. Corporal Baucus is the first relative of a member of Congress to be killed in the Iraq War. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid informed the Senate during the debate of a defense spending bill today, after the information was released by Senator Baucus. The death was met by condolences and recognition from both sides of the aisle. In related news, the 18-year-old son of US Senator John McCain (R-AZ) volunteered for service in the Marine Corps. Jimmy McCain will enter boot camp in September and could be in Iraq as soon as next summer, according to Time magazine. "I'm obviously proud of my son, but also understandably a bit nervous," said Senator McCain. Jimmy McCain is carrying on a family tradition, as his father was a decorated pilot and POW from the Vietnam War, and his grandfather was a Navy Admiral.
Writer: Ben Meyers - 08.03.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
Whatever.

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.03.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: State Claims Commissioner Vance Cheek Jr., Republican for Congress in Tennessee's CD-1.

WEDNESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

KANSAS: SEBELIUS-BARNETT GOV RACE SET FOR NOVEMBER.
Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) was unopposed for renomination in Tuesday's primary. On the Republican side, conservative State Senator Jim Barnett won the seven-candidate contest with 36%. His nearest opponent, social conservative activist Ken Canfield, was second with 26%. Sebelius is strongly favored to defeat the GOP nominee in November. GOP centrist Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh easily fended off a primary challenge from State Senator Kay O'Connor, a Religious Right conservative who in 2001 infamously proclaimed her opposition to the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. Another GOP moderate, State Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger also survived a competitive primary challenge by Religious Right conservative State Representative Eric Carter. In the ongoing evolution/creationism fight, continues to play an important role in Kansas politics. Of the three conservative State Board of Education members who supported anti-evolution standards, two appeared headed to primary wins. In the GOP primary in CD-3, wealthy banker Chuck Ahner easily defeated State Representative Scott Schwab and two others. Ahner will be an underdog against popular conservative Congressman Dennis Moore (D) in November, despite the solid GOP registration advantage in the district.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.02.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
COLORADO - CONGRESS - CD-7 - DEM PRIMARY: Former State Senator Ed Perlmutter - 51%, former State Representative Peggy Lamm - 31%, attorney Herb Rubenstein - 10%. (KUSA-TV/SurveyUSA).
KANSAS - GOVERNOR:
Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) - 51%, State Senator Jim Barnett (R) - 34%. (Rasmussen Reports).
MAINE - GOVERNOR:
Governor John Baldacci (D) - 42%, State Senator Chandler Woodcock (R) - 25%, State Representative Barbara Merrill (Independent) - 3%, radio talk show host Pat LaMarche (Green) - 3%. (Strategic Marketing).
MAINE - CONGRESS - CD-1: Congressman Tom Allen (D) - 57%, State Representative Darlene Curl (R) - 11%, peace activist Dexter Kamilewicz (Independent) - 3%. (Strategic Marketing).
MAINE - CONGRESS - CD-2: Congressman Mike Michaud (D) - 62%, medical technician Scott D'Amboise (R) - 14%. (Strategic Marketing).
SOUTH DAKOTA - GOVERNOR: Governor Mike Rounds (R) - 56%, former State Representative Jack Billion (D) - 27%. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader/Mason-Dixon).
WASHINGTON - US SENATE: US Senator Maria Cantwell (D) - 48%, insurance executive Mike McGavick (R) - 37%. (Rasmussen Reports).
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.02.06 | Permalink |

PENNSYLVANIA: STATE GOP CHAIR PRAISES MURTHA.
State GOP Chair Robert Gleason has come under fire from conservative activists for some comments he made -- past and present -- about Congressman Jack Murtha (D-PA). Gleason apparently voted for Murtha in the past -- including when Gleason was Cambria County Republican Chair. Gleason explained in an interview with the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: "I cannot deny that Murtha has done a wonderful job for our region. He's brought home the bacon. If that's how you want to judge a Congressman, or any elected official, he gets five stars. I think everything was pretty positive until the past few months, when he started attacking the President and the war and saying things that weren't really positive as far as the troops were concerned." Franklin and Marshall University political science professor Terry Madonna found Gleason's comments odd: "When you're a state chairman, you're expected to not say nice things about the other side." However, despite the outcry from some conservatives in the party, the centrist Gleason appears likely to survive the demands for his resignation.
Writer: Julian Stolz - 08.02.06 | Permalink |

OKLAHOMA: EX-FOES FALLING IN LINE BEHIND FALLIN IN CD-5 OPEN SEAT.
Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin placed first in last week's six-candidate GOP primary with 35%. Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett was second with 24%, and will face Fallin in the August 22 run-off. In a major boost for Fallin, CQ reports she secured the endorsements of all four other candidates eliminated in the primary. Combined, they collected 41% of the primary vote. The four seemed resentful of Cornett throughout the primary campaign, so the news isn't a total surprise. However, if gives Fallin significant momentum heading into the run-off.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.02.06 | Permalink |

PENNSYLVANIA: SANTORUM FUNDED GREEN NOMINEE FOR US SENATE.
Green Party activist Carl Romanelli -- the party's nominee for US Senator Rick Santorum’s (R) -- acknowledged receiving significant financial aid from the GOP in qualifying for the ballot. The AP reports Romanelli received $66,000 from Santorum donors to support his signature gathering effort. As a result of GOP support, Romanelli will submit far more than the 67,070 signatures required under Pennsylvania law. Romanelli did not deny receiving support from the GOP, stating "I have friends in all political parties. It's just that my Republican friends are more confident about standing with me than my Democratic friends. And as a group, my Republican friends are a little better off." Santorum also admitted his desire to see Romanelli on the ballot. "This is politics," Santorum said. "It's no surprise when you're an incumbent, it helps to have more people on the ballot." Santorum -- who trails State Treasurer Bob Casey Jr. (D) by double digits in independent polls -- also acknowledged encouraging his GOP campaign staff and volunteers to help with the signature gathering effort.
Writer: Dustin McKissen - 08.02.06 | Permalink |

P2008: RICHARDSON POSITIONS HIMSELF AS FOREIGN POLICY HAWK.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (D), who is preparing to make a run for President in 2008, is attempting to portray himself firmly as a foreign affairs hawk wing. The AP reported today that Richardson, a former U.N. Ambassador, stated his firm support for Israel, as well as urged more United States involvement. According to Richardson, “If we would have had a permanent Middle East envoy in the region, we would have been in a better position to disarm Hezbollah and protect Israel.” Richardson went on to say that an international peacekeeping force would help end the violence. The recent placement of Nevada's caucuses ahead of the New Hampshire primary may help the Latino-descent Governor by giving him an early boost to his campaign if he were to win the state’s contest. With the race likely to be filled with an unprecedented number of candidates, Richardson knows it will be an important to differentiate himself from the others.
Posted by Ben Meyers - 08.02.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
The winner of the award for worst titled campaign press release (possibly ever) is Congresswoman Katherine Harris (R-FL). In response to the strange story we detailed yesterday about state GOP leaders savagely bashing her US Senate candidacy in a private letter (leaked to the AP), Harris issued a bizarre press release Tuesday entitled: "
Letter Not Applicable Monday." In fact, the press release obtusely explained "a previous letter unethically leaked in Monday's news is not applicable to current party beliefs." All of this prompts one question: Is there anyone sane working on the Harris campaign?
Posted by Ron Gunzburger -08.02.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: former State Representative and attorney Joe Courtney, Democrat for Congress in Connecticut's CD-2.

TUESDAY NEWS UPDATE.

KANSAS: PRIMARY PREVIEW.
Governor Kathleen Sebelius (D) is unopposed for renomination in Tuesday's primary -- and she remains a prohibitive favorite in independent polls to win reelection in November. She is again gaining an advantage because of the ongoing fiscal conservative-versus-social conservative rift. In fact, Sebelius' runningmate for Lieutenant Governor is former GOP State Chair Mark Parkinson, who switched parties earlier this year over his disgust with the Religious Right's domination of the Kansas GOP. On the Republican side, seven hopefuls are competing in the gubernatorial primary -- but all of them were "second-tier choices" after all of the highly-recruited top-tier candidates passed on the race. Of the seven, the three frontrunners appear to be State Senator Jim Barnett, social conservative activist Ken Canfield and former State House Speaker Robin Jennison. Barnett and Canfield exchanged a volley of very negative spots, accusing each other of running desperate and dishonest campaigns. Jennison is benefiting from the Barnett-Canfield punching match -- but probably not enough. Look for Barnett to narrowly win the primary. The debate over evolution continues to play an important role in Kansas politics. The AP reports that three members of the conservative State Board of Education who supported anti-evolution standards face tough GOP primary challenges. Among those facing challenges includes Board Member Connie Lewis, who referred to evolution as an “age-old fairy tale.” The GOP fiscal conservative-versus-social conservative fight is also playing out against Republicans incumbents in the primaries for Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner. While not formally endorsing any candidates, many church leaders in Kansas have stressed the importance of voting in the Tuesday primaries. The Lawrence Journal-World reports Scott Jameson-Jones, a United Methodist Church bishop, urged congregants to vote: “[Voting] is something every Christian ought to do. It’s part of your Christian life; it’s part of your Christian responsibility.” Republicans hold a 20% registration advantage over Democrats in the state. Secretary of State Ron Thornburgh predicts a 23% turnout for the election.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger; Contributing Writer: Dustin McKissen - 08.01.06 | Permalink |

BY THE NUMBERS: LATEST INDEPENDENT NUMBERS.
MISSOURI - US SENATE: State Auditor Claire McCaskill (D) - 45%, US Senator Jim Talent (R) - 42%. (Rasmussen Reports).
OHIO - US SENATE:
Congressman Sherrod Brown (D) - 44%, US Senator Mike DeWine (R) - 42%. (Rasmussen Reports).
SOUTH DAKOTA - VOTE TO UPHOLD THE STATE'S ABORTION BAN:
Reject the Ban - 47%, Uphold the Ban - 39%. (Sioux Falls Argus Leader/Mason-Dixon).
VERMONT - GOVERNOR:
Governor Jim Douglas (R) - 47%, former State Democratic Chair Scudder Parker (D) - 36%. (American Research Group).

VERMONT - US SENATE: Congressman Bernie Sanders (Independent) - 56%, businessman Rick Tarrant (R) - 35%. (American Research Group).
VERMONT - CONGRESS: State Adjutant General Martha Rainville (R) - 42%, Senate President Pro Tem Peter Welch (D) - 41%. (American Research Group).
VIRGINIA - US SENATE: US Senator George Allen (R) - 48%, former US Navy Secretary Jim Webb (D) - 32%. (Roanoke Times/Mason-Dixon).

Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.01.06 | Permalink |

FLORIDA: STATE GOP THROWS HARRIS UNDER THE BUS (AGAIN).
Just when Congresswoman Katherine Harris (R) thought her own party could not possibly do anything more to sabotage her run against US Senator Bill Nelson (D), state party leaders found
a new way to embarrass her. Someone leaked a copy to the AP of a letter written to Harris on May 7 by State GOP Chair Carole Jean Jordan, RNC Committeewoman Sharon Day and RNC Committeeman Paul Senft. In the scathing letter, the three wrote: "Katherine, though it causes us much anguish, we have determined that your campaign faces irreparable damage. We feel that we have no other choice but to revoke our support ... while we have marveled at your fundraising prowess in the past, this campaign has not seen the same success. Combined with a tenuous relationship with the media, turmoil within your campaign, and a lack of support nationally, we feel that these obstacles, in the aggregate, will prove to be insurmountable ... The polls tell us that no matter how you run this race, you will not be successful in beating Bill Nelson, who would otherwise be a vulnerable incumbent if forced to face a stronger candidate." The letter was "was done in an attempt to express those concerns, but we haven't seen any changes since then," said a spokesperson for the Florida GOP. The Harris campaign declined to comment. Just the latest episode in the GOP effort to derail Harris' campaign for the US Senate nomination.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.01.06 | Permalink |

CALIFORNIA: CAMPAIGNS EXCHANGE VERBAL SHOTS IN FEISTY CD-11 RACE.
Interesting shots flying back and forth in the California CD-11 race. Former Congressman Pete McCloskey -- who lost the GOP primary to incumbent Congressman Richard Pombo -- crossed party lines last week to endorse Democratic nominee Jerry McNerney. McCloskey ran against Pombo because he was highly critical of the incumbent's poor environmental protection record. Meanwhile, McNerney is defending himself from articles detailing his multiple-choice position on some key issues. The day the Stockton Record highlighted several controversial positions taken by McNerney in his Project Vote-Smart candidate survey -- views in support of some tax hikes, opposing a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, etc. -- McNerney apparently went back online and changed his answers. According to the newspaper, McNerney "altered [answers to] 55 of the 147 questions" and his "new answers all are either more conservative or less revealing than his earlier positions, with only a handful of exceptions." Pombo, by contrast, has not responded to a Project Vote-Smart survey since 1994. "He doesn't reveal anything. I'd like to see some of his answers
," said McNerney.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.01.06 | Permalink |

PENNSYLVANIA: FOLLOW-UP ON THIRD PARTY BALLOT EFFORTS.
Yesterday we highlighted how businessman Russ Diamond (Independent) appears likely to miss qualifying for the state ballot in the gubernatorial race by a wide margin -- falling far short of the 67,000 required signatures. Politics1 reader
Julian Stolz emailed us with what was involved for the Green Party to secure ballot status in the Keystone State for their nominees. Here's what he wrote: "Green Party Nominee for the US Senate from Pennsylvania, Carl Romanelli, appears to have collected enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. He said he is confident that he will turn in between 90,000-100,000 signatures. This should be enough to withstand any challenge. His campaign spent more than $100,000 on collecting signatures, even going so far as to pay circulators $20 per hour. His effort may also have some coat tails for the Green Nominee for Governor, Marakay Rogers, a York County lawyer, as they circulated their petitions jointly." The Constitution Party is also seeking to qualify building contractor Hagan Smith for Governor.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.01.06 | Permalink |

FREE SPEECH ZONE.
"An absolute replay of Vietnam," said Vietnam veteran and US Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE) to the Omaha World-Herald
, speaking about the Iraq War ... Also, candidate filing closed in Washington State, with no surprises. Click here to view the candidates.
Posted by Ron Gunzburger - 08.01.06 | Permalink |

SEND A PIN = GET A FREE PLUG HERE.
Here's my open offer for every campaign (and campaign supporter): send me a button or pin from the Governor, US Senate, Congressional, Statewide Office, etc., campaign you are involved in -- feel free to add a sticker and brochure -- and I'll place a link to official campaign site here on our homepage in a daily "thank you" note. My address: Ron Gunzburger, 409 NE 17 Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301. TODAY'S THANKS GO TO: businessman and retired USMC veteran Marv Pixton, Independent candidate for Congress in Virginia's CD-1.

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