Senate 2008 Guru: Following the Races

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

Friday, January 04, 2008

Friday Rundown

  • On the Expand the Map! ActBlue page, Tom Allen remains only $12, Larry LaRocco only $97, Rick Noriega only $112 from their next targets. Please chip in if you can! (C'mon, who's got $13 for Tom Allen to break the $500 barrier?)

  • Louisiana: Senator Mary Landrieu continues to look very strong for re-election, from a press release:

    U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., will kick off the New Year with more than $4 million in the bank for her reelection effort -- double the net cash-on-hand she reported at this point in her last race. When official reports are filed later this month, she expects to report more than $1.1 million in fundraising for the last three months of 2007 alone.
    Senator Landrieu also scored the endorsement of prominent Louisiana Republicans, including St. Tammany Parish President Kevin Davis, Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph, and Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Jiff Hingle.

  • Oregon: Ugh. After running a story on primary debate negotiations, PolitickerOR changed their story, and eliminated the section from which I quoted in yesterday's post. Always very infuriating. I will not use that outlet as a source in the future. In other news, Speaker Jeff Merkley has scored yet another labor endorsement, the Association of Electrical Workers.

  • Kentucky: Mitch McConnell reported a fourth quarter take of $1.7 million, bringing his end-of-2007 cash-on-hand to $7.3 million.

  • Maine: A new year, but the same old Susan Collins. She continues to tow the George W. Bush line of endless war in Iraq.

  • Minnesota: A good omen.

  • Oklahoma: Iowa isn't the only state with enthused Democrats:

    Thursday's gathering in Tulsa wasn't exactly a caucus, but it did generate a certain amount of excitement as a sort of Democratic pep rally.

    "We would be remiss if we started the new year without a resolution that this will be the last year of Jim Inhofe in the U.S. Senate," [Tulsa County Chairwoman Elaine] Dodd told the crowd to a round of cheers.

    State Sen. Andrew Rice, to date Inhofe's only Democratic challenger, was given a standing ovation.

    "We're really early in this campaign, but people are acting like it's October," Rice said. "They're asking, 'Where is my yard sign?'"
    Let's keep that enthusiasm up!

  • Georgia: Has there ever been a Senator more extraneous than Saxby Chambliss?

  • While my Senate predictions are pretty spot-on, my predictions on the Iowa caucus were, charitably speaking, way off. There's a reason I don't run a blog called The Iowa Caucus Guru. Congratulations to Senator Obama for his victory (and for what I think is the best speech he has ever given). And much respect to Senators Biden and Dodd (the next Senate Majority Leader? hmmmm?), who are ending their Presidential campaigns, but have a great deal to continue offering in the Senate. And the record-shattering Democratic turnout should stand as a signal of not only enthused Democrats but also independents looking to vote Democratic.


    Blogger NewRed said...

    Considering Landrieu's ethical flexibility in allegedly selling earmarks, its not surprising that she's raising cash.

    3:00 PM, January 04, 2008  
    Blogger Senate2008Guru said...

    I know! Funding to expand programs for kindergardeners and 1st graders to learn to read, programs that school administrators said were successful. That's just like Ted Stevens!

    3:15 PM, January 04, 2008  
    Blogger NewRed said...

    The school administrators in question praised and wanted a program with virtually no track record of success? Um, no. They didn't. But after $80,000 in campaign cash from the company, Mary decided she knew better than those silly locals. I guess selling earmarks is long as its for the children!

    3:45 PM, January 04, 2008  
    Blogger KELL said...

    I'm all game for more US Senate predictions then! I know I am personally waiting for the next edition of the US Senate Rankings, showing the #1 through #10 seed.

    I'd be interested to see where you feel the cut-off will be as to which seats change hands.

    I personally am still thinking the Senate will have 55 Dems (53 + 2 Independents) with victories in VA, NM, CO, & NH. I see the DEMs holding all seats (LA included), and my cliff-hanger will be Minnesota. The not as favorable races that I'd love to see get more competitive are Oregon (no reason that state should have a GOP Senator), Alaska (I hope Ted stays in the race), & Kentucky (they went after Daschle). I just don't see Maine being competitive having Senator Collins there, even with Rep. Allen challening (I hope I'm wrong).

    I want as many DEMs to win in 2008 so that when we go into 2010 with the GOP having to defend 19 seats against the DEMs 15, we can break into the 60 vote super-majority. We have a LOT of seats to defend in 2012.

    3:50 PM, January 04, 2008  
    Blogger Johnny C said...


    The article you linked actually quotes an administrator speaking positively about the program. Do you have access to some other unlinked source to back up your contention that administrators did not want the program?

    But more importantly other than unchecked partisanship how does this lead to your conclusion that Landrieu is selling earmarks as you state in your second comment? Money flows toward convictions. I see no evidence of a quid pro quo in the article -- you of course could not wait to suggest it.

    There is simply no comparision between Stevens allegedly having his house remodelled in exchange for earmarks and Landrieu receiving contributions from a company whose product she believes in. From what evidence do you draw your conclusion that there was some kind of quid pro quo here which would justify calling this the sale of earmarks.

    Don't worry as with our previous discussion about Rhode Island I don't actually expect you to answer the actual questions I asked so feel free to invent some other question you'd rather respond to.

    5:07 PM, January 04, 2008  
    Blogger NewRed said...

    johnny c,

    “Do you have access to some other unlinked source to back up your contention that administrators did not want the program?”
    - Another source is not necessary to answer that. From the article:
    “A former school official told the newspaper the district had picked a different reading curriculum.”

    “From what evidence do you draw your conclusion that there was some kind of quid pro quo here which would justify calling this the sale of earmarks.”?
    - From the article:
    “Randy Best, founder of Voyager, said that after an initial meeting with Landrieu on the subject, someone from Landrieu’s office asked him to hold a fundraiser for her, which he did in Dallas.”
    That was followed by a 2 million dollar earmark specifically for Voyager. Perhaps the Senate ethics committee should investigate.

    “There is simply no comparison between Stevens…”
    - I never made any comparison.

    6:49 PM, January 04, 2008  
    Blogger Glenn said...

    Interesting that that Oklahoma article's comments just spiraled into a flamewar about Andrew Rice.

    Anyone who walks into a room calling a running Democrat an "ultra-liberal" is prety much guaranteed to be one of the idiot Republican duds who can't find anything better with which to attack the Democratic candidate.

    7:01 PM, January 04, 2008  
    Blogger Matthew said...


    Did you get the $13 dollars for Tom Allen?


    8:11 PM, January 04, 2008  
    Blogger Matthew said...

    I will pay, Guru.


    8:16 PM, January 04, 2008  
    Blogger Johnny C said...


    I quote "Several D.C. school administrators told the newspaper they found the program successful"

    Also, I guess your reading skills are better then mine but I reread your article twice. It does not say that the approval even followed the Dallas fundraiser yet alone suggest that the contract was a prize for holding the fundraiser.

    11:19 AM, January 05, 2008  
    Blogger Anthony_Distler said... is confirming that former govenor Ronnie Musgrove is joining the Mississippi Senate race left open by Trent Lott.

    2:04 PM, January 05, 2008  
    Blogger mainefem said...

    Thanks, Matthew!

    Our caucuses are Feb. 10th; and I assume that the coordinated campaign office in CD#2 will open sometime thereafter.

    Natives hibernate in the winter up here, until post mud season (aside from political junkies).

    We're attempting to survive the winter up here (outrageously high fuel & gas prices in a large poor rural commuter state).

    Mainers don't do "polling" (or pay attention to 'em, for that matter); and things won't kick into gear until Memorial Day or so (can you say parades, fairs, and public suppahs)?

    That's where you'll find locals in large numbers, BTW; and it's our rendition of "retail politics."

    Tom indicated two months ago (while I attended house party in CD#2) to expect *lots* of inexpensive public "suppahs" (public forums) to be held.

    Don't count Tom/Maine out from anything.

    He didn't forego a perfectly safe U.S. House seat, just for kicks.

    We aren't "normal" (how we conduct our politickin') in many respects.


    2:45 PM, January 05, 2008  
    Blogger Pat Malach said...

    Thanks for correcting the stuff about the Oregon Novick/Merkley debates debate.

    2:16 PM, January 07, 2008  

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