Wednesday Morning Catch-Up
Virginia: It is very good news that Senator John Warner's ailment was well-attended to and that he should be fine. Now let's hope we can achieve such accessible, quality health care for all Americans.
Maine: I'm about to use, what is for me on this blog anyway, very strong language. Maine Republican Party Chair Mark Ellis is a disgusting piece of human garbage and should, at the very least, lose his job with the ME-GOP. And, further, Susan Collins should call for Ellis to lose his job. Why? You may remember from last week that Susan Collins was working to create the most recent in a string of dishonest, manufactured attacks against a political opponent, this time attacking Congressman Tom Allen's 98% voting record in the House as something less than outstanding. To further this dishonest attack, ME-GOP Chair Ellis sent this release yesterday:
Congressman Tom Allen missed each of the three votes the House of Representatives held yesterday, bringing his missed votes total to 132...This, in and of itself, while a sleazy attack is not necessarily worthy of Ellis being fired by any means. So why, then, should he be fired? Well, later in the day, Ellis had to send an addendum to the release:
Maine Republican Party Chairman Mark Ellis said, "Congressman Allen really seems to have lost interest in showing up to work. At the very least, he should tell his constituents why he is choosing to leave them unrepresented in Congress less than a year after he was reelected. For these and the many other days that Tom has skipped votes, Mainers deserve to know the answer to the question: Where was Tom?"
“It has come to our attention that Congressman Tom Allen was in Bangor on Monday attending the funeral of a family member. Without question, the most difficult times in our lives are those in which we grieve for the loss of family or friends. Our thoughts are with Congressman Allen and his family during this difficult time,” said Maine Republican Party Chairman Mark Ellis.If Ellis had instead said something to the effect of, "Hey, Maine Republicans including myself and Susan Collins tried to manufacture a sleazy, misleading attack against Tom Allen and it blew up in our faces. We are real jerks and apologize profusely," I might be more content with Ellis' fake remorse. In fact, nowhere in the addendum is there an apology for the attack! No, "Sorry we tried to exploit for cheap political gain a few missed votes while you were at a family funeral." Nothing. Ellis should immediately lose his job and Susan Collins should immediately repudiate Ellis and the Maine Republican Party for this. Otherwise, since it was her sleazy, misleading attack that Ellis was simply advancing, we can take it as Collins' tacit approval for Ellis' disgusting remarks and subsequent lack of apology.
Texas: While State Representative and Lieutenant Colonel Rick Noriega has been plugging away very effectively building grassroots and netroots components to his Senate campaign, the big question has been whether or not he could raise substantial funds to compete with millionaire self-funding attorney Mikal Watts in a primary and John Cornyn with his warchest in the general. Noriega took a big step in Q3 with a haul of over a half-million dollars. While he still needs to continue and even exceed that pace, for historical purposes, he is on a very good track compared with the 2006-cycle fundraising of now-Senators Tester, Casey, Brown and Webb.
South Carolina: Former state Democratic Party Chair Joe Erwin is consdering a challenge to Lindsey Graham. While South Carolina is a red state, to be sure, Graham could very likely face a bruising primary, potentially softening him up for a general election (if he makes it through the primary). That's why it's important to have solid candidates everywhere: because you never know what could happen.
Nebraska: Jon Bruning continues to ratchet up the rhetoric against Mike Johanns, calling Johanns "the president's lap dog." Given that Johanns offered full-throated support of George W. Bush's policies that hurt Nebraska farmers, Bruning certainly has a point.
Tennessee: Businessman and gubernatorial son Mike McWherter says that he is "all but certain" to enter the 2008 Senate race and that we can expect an official announcement in early '08.
Montana: Max Baucus airs a terrific ad chastising Bush for his decision to veto the SCHIP bill to expand health care for kids. The most evocative line: "Because we can cover those 14,000 kids like Abigail for a year for what we spend in a Iraq in a day." Very compelling. The ad is so powerful that it's already earning free media of its own.
Kentucky: DMKY offers us a two-fer as Joe Sonka highlights that Mitch McConnell is for big spending, pork, and bloated government, while Matt Gunterman sees Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Horne, a possible Democratic Senate candidate in 2008, promoting volunteering with the state Democratic Party.
Minnesota: MN Blue blogs the latest Democratic Senate primary debate. Very thorough and well done.
New Hampshire: Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand ran a terrific Senate campaign and then kept an early campaign pledge to support a unified Democratic Party and got behind popular former Governor Jeanne Shaheen when she entered the race. As a thank you for his service, his terrific campaign, and his calls for Party unity, help Marchand retire his modest campaign debt.
Two items looking into the future. First, MyDD's Singer sees Democratic Governors in red states shaping up to be strong Senate candidates in 2010, including Arizona's Janet Napolitano, Kansas' Kathleen Sebelius, and Oklahoma's Brad Henry. Second, the Sacramento Bee wonders if Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger might bypass a 2010 Senate challenge to Barbara Boxer if it looks like Dianne Feinstein would retire in 2012.