ME-Sen: Americans United for Change on Susan Collins and Iraq
NH-Sen: Americans United for Change on John Sununu and Iraq
MN-Sen: The Difference Between Norm Coleman & Al Franken
VA-Sen: Mark Warner Announces
The Hall of Fame YouTube Political Video: George Allen and "Macaca"
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
The Cook Political Report's latest 2008 Senate Race Ratings (in PDF format) have been released, and it continues to look good for Democrats. For Democratic seats, Louisiana is "lean dem," South Dakota is "likely dem," and the other ten are "safe dem." Meanwhile, for Republican-held seats, Virginia is "likely dem," Colorado, New Hampshire and New Mexico are "toss up," Maine and Minnesota are "lean rep," and Alaska, Nebraska, Oregon, and the Mississippi seat from which Trent Lott resigned are "likely rep," with the other thirteen Republican-held seats "safe rep." If the Mississippi Supreme Court upholds the lower court's ruling of a special election within 90 days, expect Missippi to enter the more competitive categories, along with Alaska (if/when Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich announces) and Oregon. And certainly don't expect all thirteen seats currently in "safe rep" to remain there over the winter and spring.
Nathan L. Gonzales has an insightful piece up on The Rothenberg Political Report entitled "History Working Against Senate GOP." In it, he even gets NRSC flack Rebecca Fisher to acknowledge the "overwhelming hurdles" Senate Republicans face. Gonzales also reminds us that the picture for Senate Republicans looks similarly difficult in 2010, when they have to defend 19 seats to Democrats' 15; but the numbers picture improves considerably in 2012 when Democrats have 23 seats to defend against the GOP's nine (a reflection of what a strong year 2006 was for Democrats).
Maine: Congressman Tom Allen has a phenomenal new biographical video up on his website:
The politically active author is supporting Democratic U.S. Rep. Tom Allen in his run for Republican Susan Collins’ Senate seat.
"We’ve had enough Bush Republicanism to last the country for a long time," he said. "We’re seeing a lot of chickens come home to roost because of Bush Administration policies. You can’t pump billions of dollars into a foreign war without it affecting the economy."
Oregon: The brouhaha over the conflict of interest caused by Novick campaign paid staffer Liz Kimmerly also running an organization - the Oregon chapter of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) - endorsing in the primary (and apparently having tried to expedite the endorsement process against the policy of the national PDA) continues on as even Novick's supporters have questions that still remain unanswered. Nobody knows what Kimmerly's intent was - whether her goal was to railroad an endorsement process or what (and nobody knows what Novick's campaign manager and Novick himself knew and when they knew it) - but the undisputed facts remain that she was and is both a paid staffer of a campaign and the coordinator of an organization endorsing in the race; and, that is unquestionably a conflict of interest. The entire situation could be de-fused by Kimmerly removing herself from PDA-Oregon leadership for the duration of the campaign and apologzing for any appearance of impropriety caused by her actions. Still, silence.
There is, however, another mini-scandal afoot in Oregon. The NRSC has hired a tracker to follow Speaker Jeff Merkley around, obviously to acquire footage for use in helping Gordon Smith's re-election campaign. (No, that part is not the scandal, even though use of a tracker is something Susan Collins' chief of staff says "demeans the political process.") The scandalous part of this is that, instead of just attending events and filming footage, the tracker is lying to the Merkley campaign about his identity to gain information about and access to events. I guess if Republican Senators are going to be dishonest time and time again, their staffers have to follow suit.
Nebraska: Scott Kleeb is meeting with Democratic Party leaders in Washington D.C., ostensibly to discuss a 2008 Senate bid, and will make a decision about his 2008 political plans "in the next two weeks."