Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

Keeping a close eye on developments in the 2008 U.S. Senate races

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Stevens Stung and Other News

  • Alaska: Greatest. News Teaser. Ever.

    (I've already watched that video six times, and it just keeps getting better!) The Associated Press is reporting that the FBI got corrupt Alaska businessman Bill Allen to tape conversations with Ted Stevens after they confronted Allen with evidence regarding Allen's bribing elected officials. The FBI wouldn't just give Stevens a public heads up to be more discrete in his phone conversations; as such, I imagine that the FBI would only let this news out as a precursor to an indictment or some other significant action. I very much look forward to developments in the coming days. (HT: TPM)

  • Kentucky: DMKY's Sonka remembers back six months ago when Mitch McConnell was giving Iraqis their "last chance" to "save their country." I think McConnell will have as many last chances for the Iraqis as George W. Bush wants him to have. Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell, George W. Bush, and Bush's Iraq War grow more and more unpopular to Kentuckians as time goes on.

  • Nebraska: A friend of NNN founder Kyle Michaelis made the following observation about Republican Mike Johanns' ability to see a job through to completion:

    Let me see if I got this right.

    He was a Councilman, but resigned to become Mayor
    He was a Mayor, but resigned to become Governor
    He was a Governor, but resigned to become Sec of Ag
    He was a Sec of Ag, but resigned to become...

    Does anyone else see a pattern?
    It's one thing for it to happen once, maybe twice, as a politician moves from role to role. But to quit four jobs midway through demonstrates a pretty unsettling pattern of unreliability. In fact, here's the catch phrase for the 2008 Nebraska Senate race: "Bob Kerrey: An Independent Voice; Mike Johanns: An Undependable Void" (that is, if Kerrey gets in and Johanns emerges from the crowded Republican primary).

  • New Hampshire: With Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand having withdrawn from the race in support of popular former Governor Jeanne Shaheen, and Katrina Swett expected to withdraw tomorrow, Shaheen's only primary competition is professor/former astronaut Jay Buckey. Buckey says he isn't withdrawing, but his inability to raise funds may hamper his bid:

    Shaheen still faces one Democratic candidate for her party’s nomination, former astronaut and Darmouth College medical professor Jay Buckey, but he reported raising just $22,000 through June, according to the Federal Election Commission. Sununu reported more than $2 million on hand.
    Granted, Buckey was a later entry than Marchand or Swett, but Shaheen should be able to easily raise $1 million or more per quarter. (She did raise almost $6 million for her 2002 Senate bid.) No doubt she's on the phones going through her donor lists from her previous Senate and Gubernatorial campaigns. If Buckey can't demonstrate a more robust fundraising pace during the next few months, his candidacy may not be sustainable.

  • North Carolina: Elizabeth Dole has, at best, an awkward grasp of local issues. That may be due to the fact that she spends little time in the state she claims to represent.

    UPDATE (10:15pm): Anchorage Daily News reports:

    A construction worker who oversaw renovation of Sen. Ted Stevens' home said his company also paid him to help run fundraisers for the Alaska Republican, a practice that appears to violate federal campaign finance laws. ...

    Unlike other Veco employees, [contractor Robert] Williams did not itemize his time sheets with job codes so customers could be billed. When working on one of Allen's pet projects, Williams just logged his hours and Veco made sure he was paid.
    The ticking clock is deafening.


    Blogger VA Blogger said...

    Rick Santorum tried the same campaign against Bob Casey in 2006 as the one you described against Mike Johanns. It didn't stick.

    9:21 PM, September 20, 2007  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    How do you know it didn't have an impact? Because Santorum lost? I think there are other reasons why Santorum lost, including being a far right-wing conservative in a blue-leaning purple state.

    10:04 PM, September 20, 2007  
    Blogger Johnny C said...

    I have to agree with Va blogger on this one. I just don't think that dog hunts. Lots of people leave jobs for another one and politicians moving up is expected (it is the only way to get a promotion). I have never believed this type of attack to be effective with voters.

    9:39 AM, September 21, 2007  

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