Wednesday Afternoon Round-Up
Wyoming: Details are coming in about the three Senate vacancy finalists from which Governor Dave Freudenthal must select. First, attorney Dave Sansonetti inserted himself in the world of Jack Abramoff:
The top vote-getter in the race to succeed recently deceased Republican Senator Craig Thomas of Wyoming, Thomas Sansonetti, recently made a plea to a judge to grant clemency to J. Steven Griles, the number two figure in the Bush administration Interior Department. Griles is facing sentencing later this month after pleading guilty to obstruction charges in the Justice Department's investigation of Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff's activities during the earlier years of the Bush administration.Not great company to keep. Sansonetti also was no friend to environmental protection:
"As a member of the law firm Holland and Hart, Sansonetti lobbied on behalf of corporate mining interests, including Arch Coal and Peabody Coal," said a feature on the 'UnGreening of America' in Mother Jones magazine. "Sansonetti is behind the Department of Justice's decisions to settle a string of lawsuits, giving up the government's legal right to protect millions of acres of wetlands and wilderness."Meanwhile, former state treasurer Cynthia Lummis and Governor Freudenthal have had personal clashes in the past:
Lummis accused Freudenthal in 2003 of threatening the state auditor with the words, 'If you cross me, I'll cut your head off and you won't know it till it hits the ground.' The governor denied everything. Thanks to their personal clash, he is considered unlikely to support her.Ouch. The Evans-Novak Political Report offers that state senator John Barrasso "may be the most capable of keeping the seat." A tough selection, indeed, for Governor Freudenthal, who has invited the three finalists to meet with him to discuss issues affecting Wyoming.
Iowa: With former GOP Rep. Jim Nussle taking over as White House Budget Director, I think we can cross that name off the list of potential opponents to Senator Tom Harkin.
Georgia: I suppose Saxby Chambliss has been sufficiently spooked by the prospect of a primary challenge, as he'll be voting against moving the immigration reform legislation forward in the Senate. Chambliss really is spineless.
Alaska: Kos offers an extended look into Ted Stevens' plunging poll numbers in the wake of Stevens' RenovationGate.
Oregon: The OR-GOP needs to hone its skills a little more before attempting reverse psychology on Chuck Schumer. Very lame on the OR-GOP's part.