Friday Morning Tidbits
WaPo's Cillizza releases his June edition of the Senate Line. And, for the first time, there are 8 Republican-held seats and only 2 Democratic-held seats (South Dakota and Louisiana), with Nebraska making its Line debut. Every month, I keep expecting North Carolina to find its way onto the list - I have to suppose that NC's Dole has been sitting on the imaginary 11-spot for months. Unless new Republican rumblings occur in steadily placid Iowa, Arkansas, or Montana, I would have to imagine that we should see an 8-to-2 GOP-to-Dem listing on the Line for many months to come, just another indication of the Republican's perilous 2008 Senate map.
South Dakota: The Argus Leader suggests that Senator Tim Johnson is a safe bet for re-election if he is able to run, noting that:
Adding to Republican woes is the fact that they also are beginning to take seriously Gov. Mike Rounds' comments on several occasions that he has no interest in running against Johnson.While anything can happen over the next many months, this has to be more than a bit demoralizing for the NRSC.
Alaska: Think Progress highlights a new development in Ted Stevens' corruption saga:
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK), “dogged by a federal probe of political corruption in Alaska, disclosed Thursday that he has asked the Senate Ethics Committee to review his latest financial disclosure report.” Ethics reviews of lawmakers’ financial reports “are unusual unless they are under a legal cloud.”Yes, I think it's safe for meteorologists to forecast "legal clouds" following around Ted Stevens for the foreseeable future.
Oregon: Gordon Smith loses a key corporate backer:
Plaid Pantry Inc.'s president and CEO Chris Girard said he will no longer support the lawmaker either financially or personally, due to the senator's current stance on tobacco tax legislation. ...Perhaps Girard might be interested in helping out a potential primary opponent to Gordon Smith.
Now, with Smith supporting a federal excise tax and state cigarette tax increase, Girard wrote that he can no longer support the senator.
Kentucky: Mitch McConnell is getting no love these days. DMKY's Gunterman sees the Louisville Courier-Journal taking McConnell to task on the Alberto Gonzales no-confidence vote, calling McConnell a "partisan henchman." Meanwhile, MyDD's Singer looks at McConnell's vulnerability given current political trends both in and out of Kentucky.
Wyoming: Lest anyone be losing sleep over it, Lynne Cheney is not an applicant for the vacant Senate seat.
Those obstructionist McConnell Republicans are up to more of the same, this time on energy policy.