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Thursday, July 17, 2008

So Much for the Old Ballpark Smell

Excellent Nick Coleman column.

The King and the Korb

Another masterpiece by the irrepressible Ken Avidor:

The King and the Korb

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Elwyn Tinklenberg and Ashwin Madia Do Well at Fundraising

Tinklenberg for Congress FR:

Total Q2 $271,342.28
Total cycle: $531,419.96
Cash on hand: $225,238.01
Spent Q2: $147,000
Debt: None
In Q2 we doubled everything we did in Q1: cash on hand, quarter total raised, cycle total raised.
Also, we are almost exactly where Tim Walz (MN 1) was at this point in 2006 with total raised and cash on hand.

Red to Blue list of challengers: Note, these are NOT open seat Democrats As you can see, we out raised seven of these challengers.

Kay Barnes (MO-06) – has not filed
Anne Barth (WV-02) - $250,269 CoH - $353,449
Ethan Berkowitz (AK-AL) - $227,042 CoH-$398,716
Darcy Burner (WA-08) - $579,023 CoH-$1,248,377
Steve Driehaus (OH-01) - $200,397 CoH-631,440
Joe Garcia (FL-25) - $500,549 CoH-$700,983
Jim Himes (CT-04) - $678,843 CoH-$1,444,353
Christine Jennings (FL-13) - $380,347 CoH-578,838
Larry Kissell (NC-08) - $178,769 CoH-$231,583
Suzanne Kosmas (FL-24) $479,976 CoH-936,025
Bob Lord (AZ-03) - $235,802 CoH-$706,523
Betsy Markey (CO-04) - $235,802 CoH- $706,523
Raul Martinez (FL-21)- $600,529 CoH-$1,079,068
Eric Massa (NY-29) - $290,706 CoH-652,281
Walt Minnick (ID-01) - 286,884 CoH- $444,113
Glenn Nye (VA-02) - $215,564 CoH-$409,413
Gary Peters (MI-09) ) – has not filed
Mark Schauer (MI-07) - ) – has not filed
Dan Seals (IL-10) - $582,176 CoH-$1,175,621
Dina Titus (NV-03) - $575,392 CoH-$553,462

Finally, we have compiled a list of the DCCC's Congressional Candidates on the emerging races list. The first number is the Q2 numbers and the second is the cash on hand number. As you will notice, only 4 candidates out raised us in Q2
Sam Bennett (PA-15) $226,532 CoH- $353,774
David Boswell (KY-02) - $124,758 CoH- $45,206
Colleen Callahan (IL-18) - $87,945 CoH - $107,826
Kathy Dahlkemper (PA-03) - $161,911 CoH - $127,866
Jill Derby (NV-02) - $293,393 CoH - $353,058
John Dicks (FL-09) - $11,937 CoH - $323,141
Judy Feder (VA-10) - $200,029 CoH-$812,122
Nick Leibham (CA-50) - $175,634 CoH- $266,654
Dan Johnson (NC-10) - $124,729 CoH- $218,504
Mike Montagano (IN-03) -$142,107 CoH- $351,701
Jill Morgenthaler (IL-06) - $201,989 CoH- $230,898
Tom Perriello (VA-05) - $280,157 CoH- $519,631
Bob Roggio (PA-06) - $179,987 CoH- $259,946
Steve Sarvi (MN-02) - $146,951 CoH- $98,239
Dennis Shulman (NJ-05) - $199,259 CoH- $258,381
Josh Segall (AL-03) - $209,728 CoH- $410,619
Michael Skelly (TX-07) - $412,180 CoH- $1,050,314
Annette Taddeo (FL-18) - $154,375 CoH-$457,105
El Tinklenberg (MN-06) $271,817 CoH- $225,238
Vic Wulsin (OH-02) -$309,912 CoH- $378,084

However Bachmann is still ahead of Tinklenberg in Cash on Hand 5:1. Tinklenberg doubled the amount raised between first quarter and second quarter. Michele Bachmann raised around 125% of what she raised first quarter.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Up and Coming Michele Bachmann: Judy Lindsay

It looks like she is running as a stealth candidate by the look of her website. It mentions this:

My extensive knowledge of the education system and persistent efforts to reduce wasteful spending earned me a headline in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, "Parent, politician a solo voice."

I looked up the article - and it mentions Judy Lindsay's history advocating for creationism. I think this will hurt her in this district. It was notable that many republican legislators in the Western and Southern suburbs and exurbs were voting against creationism, while legislators in the 6th District voted for it. For example, both Eric Paulsen and Laura Brod voted against creationism this year.

Judy Lindsay describes herself and her positions as conservative. She
opposes the Profile of Learning, the state's menu of skills students have to demonstrate before they graduate from high school. She recently questioned District 196's method of teaching evolution, saying it needs to stress that evolution is a theory and balance it with information about creationism. And she's made a choice that separates her from her fellow board members, one that voters have heard about around election time: The Lindsays send their three children to private schools.

"I don't have to worry about our values being undermined" at a private school, Judy Lindsay said recently. That includes her concerns about how evolution is taught and the Profile of Learning. When parents see that the public schools are "so into environmentalism and a multicultural, politically correct social agenda, they want out," she said. "I think that has caused a lot of people to pull their kids out."

At board meetings, her views regularly lead to controversy and heated exchanges.

I ran into Judy Lindsay when she testified in favor of deleting gays from the human rights act. At that time she claimed homosexuality caused manic depression.

It's notable that Lloydletta's Nooz posts show up before Judy Lindsay's website on a google search on Judy Lindsay.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Norm Coleman's Ad Reminds Us of His Role Stiffing the State Taxpayers with Corporate Welfare for Hockey

Chris Cillizza suggests that this ad for Norm Coleman will help him. Norm uses the strategy of bragging about all the pork he brought to Minnesota. Does this ad appeal to a voter such as Mitch Berg, David Strom, King Banaian and other MOB bloggers? Ofcourse voters in the base don't really matter to Norm Coleman, because they are going to vote for him anyway.

Fisking the Fix:

Ad Wars: Norm Coleman and the Power of the Puck

In a political environment as treacherous as this one for Republicans, there's still one tried and true strategy to court voters: pork.

Yes, this works with middle of the road voters, but alienates base voters in the GOP. The more Norm Coleman uses this sort of advertising, the more likely it is, that base Republican voters will decide to leave the Senate ballot line blank.

As we have written before, Republican incumbents have already surmised that their best strategy to win -- given President Bush's unpopularity, the tarnishing of the Republican brand and the huge number of people who believe the country is heading in the wrong direction -- is to remind voters of what they have delivered during their tenure in office.

Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) is the latest incumbent on the transactional bandwagon with a new ad in his race against entertainer Al Franken and, possibly, former governor Jesse Ventura (I). (Check this space later tonight for an update on Ventura's candidacy; he is set to announce his decision on whether or not to run on "Larry King Live" tonight.)

Let's take a look at the ad:

If there was any question about Coleman's appeal in this race ("I can get things you want"), it's erased in the first line.

"If there's one thing about Norm Coleman, he gets things done," says the ad narrator, a guy dressed in a bowling shirt at a bowling alley.

As the actor lists Coleman's accomplishments ("increased college Pell grants...helping us get energy independent") voices from off-camera repeatedly yell: "And, he brought hockey back."

Coleman, the former mayor of Saint Paul, is widely remembered both in the city and statewide for his aggressive advocacy to bring a National Hockey League team to the city. The Minnesota Wild arrived in the city in 2000 and have been an untempered success in the eight years since then.

This was also a huge public subsidy to a private business.

Given that hockey is something close to the official sport of Minnesota (Gov. Tim Pawlenty plays regularly), this ad is a savvy play by Coleman. Not only does he remind voters that he is an effective representative for the state but he also does it in a fun way that plays into the state's well established fondness for ice hockey. (A sidenote: When will ice hockey return to Connecticut? The Fix still misses the Hartford Whalers.)

Yup, and let's not forget how Governor Pawlenty of Tax increases stuck the Hennepin County taxpayer with the bill for the Twins stadium.

In a political environment like this one, these sorts of transactional appeals may be the only way for a Republican incumbent to win. It may not be enough, but it's all endangered GOPers have at the moment in terms of a positive message.

Watch for lots more Republican incumbents to follow Coleman's lead in the very near future.

Newspapers love public funding of stadiums because it helps their bottom line in filling sports pages. That doesn't translating into the public liking to pay for stadiums. That's why the politicians worked so hard to prevent a referendum on the Hennepin County billion dollar stadium tax - paying off a stadium over 30 years.

Breaking Nooz: Jesse Ventura Says He Won't Run

So I was wrong. I thought Jesse would run for senate. He talked about how there were different expectations of him than a democrat or republican.

The GOP's latest fundraising gambit

I got this e-mail from the Republicans...

Yeah, like they'd really want my input on developing a platform (eye roll)

Dear Mark,

The Republican Party has taken great strides to create the most grassroots-driven, platform-development effort in the history of American politics by launching the first ever online Platform.

We want to hear from you! Use the site to weigh in on important issues, submit video ideas, participate in interactive polls, and invite your friends and family to join in the discussion. Our goal is to gain more public input into this platform than any other in American history, and you can help make that happen.

To get started, visit the 2008 Republican Platform Committee and create your personal, password-protected account to keep up with your posts and suggestions.

We welcome your passion and your ideals, we want your policy ideas and your insights, and we hope you will commit to building our Party and creating a brighter future.

Don't miss this exciting opportunity to take part in the development of the 2008 Republican Party Platform.

Your participation is a testament to the positive outlook of our Party and the exciting possibilities that the Internet brings to our democracy.

Thank you for taking part in this exciting endeavor,

Robert M. "Mike" Duncan
Chairman, Republican National Committee

Contributions or gifts to the Republican National Committee are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes.


Republican National Committee | 310 First Street, SE | Washington, D.C. 20003
p: 202.863.8500 | f: 202.863.8820 | e:

Paid for by the Republican National Committee.
310 First Street, SE - Washington, D.C. 20003 - (202) 863-8500
Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.


Copyright 2008 Republican National Committee

Obama Opposes California Marriage Amendment/McCain Meets with Log Cabin Republicans

Sacramento Bee:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, who previously said the issue of gay marriage should be left up to each state, has announced his opposition to a California ballot measure that would ban same-sex marriages.

In a letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club read Sunday at the group's annual Pride Breakfast in San Francisco, the Illinois senator said he supports extending "fully equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both state and federal law."

"And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states," Obama wrote.

Obama had previously said he opposes same-sex marriage but that each state should make its own decision.

A spokesman for Republican presidential candidate John McCain, who last week endorsed Proposition 8 on the Nov. 4 California ballot, accused Obama of continuing a pattern of changing his position on issues.

"It just depends on where you catch him and what time of day … whether it's public financing, town hall debates and now gay marriage," said Rick Gorka, a spokesman for the Arizona senator.

Ben LaBolt, an Obama campaign spokesman, declined to comment on the McCain campaign's allegations. But LaBolt noted that the Illinois senator opposed a proposed federal ban on gay marriage. Campaigning in Pennsylvania in April, Obama said he would oppose a similar constitutional ban under consideration by the Legislature there.

"Senator Obama opposes all divisive and discriminatory constitutional amendments such as the one in California," LaBolt said.

McCain endorsed a 2006 Arizona initiative defining marriage as only between a man and a woman, which was defeated. But he voted against a federal constitutional amendment against gay marriage.

Dale Carpenter has a must read post on this.

So what's really going on? I think there are two things happening. First, I don't think Obama really opposes gay marriage deep down and I suspect he does see the exclusion of gay couples as a kind of discrimination. He has never been able to explain his reasons for opposing gay marriage — which is very revealing for a man who's otherwise unusually thoughtful. He just says, basically, I oppose gay marriage "because I say so." So calling the amendment discriminatory and divisive may be candor squeaking through. Second, and probably more importantly, this is an instance where politics necessitates cognitive dissonance. Gays and those who support gay equality are a critical constituency in the Democratic Party. Obama can't keep the gay-friendly base happy and support the amendment, which is rightly seen by them as involving huge stakes for the gay-marriage movement. But at the same time he has calculated that he can't come out for gay marriage as a matter of public policy because that might mean losing the election.

Don't get me wrong, I strongly oppose the California amendment and intend to contribute to its defeat. And on one level, I am very gratified by Obama's opposition. It might actually help sway some of his socially conservative black and Latino supporters, who will vote in large numbers in California in November. But then, I support gay marriage. If I opposed it, I'd probably be either mystified or angered.

Obama's explanation for why he opposes gay marriage and opposes the proposed California amendment banning it can't be squared as a matter of logic. It's a matter of politics, which says something about how much things have changed in a short time. We've gone from the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004 opposing gay marriage and supporting state constitutional amendments to ban it (as Kerry did, even where gay marriage existed, in Massachusetts); to a Democratic nominee who says he opposes gay marriage, but who's uncharacteristically at a loss to explain himself, and who opposes the only way to prevent it from becoming a reality in a state with 40 million people; to, I predict, a nominee in 2012 or 2016 who will say he or she personally favors gay marriage but says the president has no role in the decision because this is an issue that should be left to the states.

Meanwhile John McCain holds private meetings with both the Leviticus Crowd in Ohio and Log Cabin Republicans (though not at the same time.)

Money quote:

Others said McCain can't win evangelicals merely by meeting with them privately; he has to embrace them publicly. "We told him that if he didn't come out and share his pro-family stances on these issues, then he can kiss Ohio goodbye," Burress said. "We can't deliver his message for him."

The point is that McCain won't be meeting openly with either group. Personally I'd like to see a joint meeting with both groups. Gay Patriot reported on the meeting, but only got comment from Log Cabin Republicans. Ben Smith from Politico confirmed the meeting with the McCain Staff.

Peter LaBarbera is already skeptical of McCain, but does not seem to know of the meeting.

I still find it ironic that Log Cabin Republicans ran an advertising campaign to deep six Mitt Romney's campaign. Romney's position on discrimination laws and DADT were less to LCR's liking than McCain's. Ironically, LCR and Peter LaBarbera worked together to deep six Romney - and were successful.