Tag Archives: black people

North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple will retire.

  • ND-Gov: Even though he probably could have easily won another term, Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple has decided not to run for re-election next year. Dalrymple had served as lieutenant governor until 2010, when then-Gov. John Hoeven won election to the Senate, but Dalrymple handily won a full term in his own right in 2012. However, he’d been cagey about his future plans all cycle, so his retirement is not a surprise. And given the dominant role Republicans play in North Dakota politics, there will be plenty of candidates looking to succeed Dalrymple. We took note of a few possibilities in our Great Mentioner series earlier this year, including Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, state Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem, Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk, and former Rep. Rick Berg, who lost a humiliating race for Senate three years ago to Heidi Heitkamp. And sure enough, Roll Call‘s Eli Yokley reports that both Wrigley and Stenehjem are interested, but they’re privately working out a deal where only one of them will run. Other names will surely pop up as well. Speaking of Heitkamp, she’s probably the one Democrat who could make the general election interesting. Almost from the moment she won her near-miraculous Senate campaign, she’s refused to rule out a bid for governor. It’s a post she came close to winning in 2000, the last time the seat was open. Heitkamp, who was the state’s attorney general at the time, actually led in the polls late in the race, but after she revealed she had breast cancer in October, she wound up losing to Hoeven 55-45. If she’s hungry for a second crack at the job, an open seat in a presidential year is going to be her best bet. But it would still be very difficult. It’s one thing to go from state office to Congress; it’s quite another to attempt the reverse. Republicans would tie Heitkamp to Barack Obama at every available opportunity, and while they certainly tried that in 2012, they’d now have an actual voting record to link her to. The intensely unlikeable Berg once griped, “Everyone’s pretty likable. The issue is not about a personality contest. This whole thing kind of boils down to, do you want someone who’s going to fight against President Obama.” That kind of attack fell just short before, but it should resonate more strongly now. There’s another issue at play here, too: Even if Heitkamp were to win, she wouldn’t be able to appoint a successor. That’s because the Republican-held legislature passed a law earlier this year that would require a special election in the event of a Senate vacancy, a move specifically designed to thwart Heitkamp and ensure her seat would return to Republican hands. (The GOP would be heavily favored to pick it up.) For that reason, national Democrats would certainly prefer that Heitkamp stay put. But on the flipside, Heitkamp’s alternative—seeking re-election in 2018—isn’t such an enticing prospect for her personally. After winning by just 1 percent in a presidential year, her prospects of victory in a midterm election, especially if a Democrat is in the White House, would be quite tough. Democrats will be on defense in many difficult seats that year (Montana, Indiana, and Missouri among them), and North Dakota would probably top that list. So even if a gubernatorial run would be a real challenge, Heitkamp might like her odds better in Bismarck than Washington.


  • IL-Sen: While much of the national Democratic establishment has sided with Rep. Tammy Duckworth, several state-level Democrats are showing a lot more reluctance. Both the state and Cook County Democratic Parties recently voted to remain neutral in the primary, and state Sen. Kwame Raoul has endorsed former Chicago Urban League head Andrea Zopp. Raoul, who holds Barack Obama’s old legislative seat, has been growing in prominence over the last few years, so he may have some pull. State Senate President John Cullerton is also touting a non-Duckworth Democrat, but his preferred pick is state Sen. Napoleon Harris. Cullerton says that he’ll back Harris should he get in: Harris hasn’t committed to anything yet, but he sounds increasingly likely to enter the contest. Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin has also made noises about running and recently formed an exploratory committee, though there’s speculation he’s really just planning to run for the House if Rep. Danny Davis retires this cycle. The eventual nominee will face GOP Sen. Mark Kirk.
  • KY-Sen, Gov: On Saturday, the Kentucky Republican Party granted Sen. Rand Paul his wish when they voted to switch from a May presidential primary to a March caucus, giving Paul the ability to both run for re-election and for president. (Kentucky law prohibits a candidate from seeking multiple offices on the same ballot.) However, the Lexington Herald-Leader‘s Sam Youngman tells us that the state central committee came extremely close to rejecting their junior senator. Committee members were not at all persuaded by Paul’s promise to transfer $250,000 to the party to pay for the caucus, especially since Paul initially said he’d already sent them the money. Paul has also never had a good relationship with his party’s establishment, and they just didn’t trust him to transfer the money as he guaranteed that he would. Had the GOP voted to maintain the primary, Youngman says that Paul planned to run for re-election in Kentucky and for president in the other 49 states. However, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell saved Paul from humiliation at literally the eleventh hour. A top McConnell aide and former RNC Chair Mike Duncan successfully pitched a compromise to the committee: There would be a caucus, but only if Paul transferred the $250,000 by Sept. 18. While Paul has never been a loyal vote for McConnell in the Senate, the two are allies back home. Paul quickly got behind McConnell’s 2014 re-election campaign and helped McConnell reach out to angry conservatives who might have otherwise have voted for Matt Bevin in the primary. On Saturday, it was McConnell’s turn to come to his colleague’s aid during his time of need. But the Kentucky GOP isn’t still one big happy family. On Friday, Paul endorsed Bevin’s gubernatorial bid, but Bevin declined to back Paul’s presidential campaign in return. Bevin claims that it has nothing to do with Paul’s role in last year’s Senate primary, but it’s hard to believe he didn’t get at least a little bit of satisfaction from spurning Paul.


  • NH-Gov: Executive Councilor Chris Sununu has made it no secret that he’s very interested in running for governor even if Democratic incumbent Maggie Hassan runs for re-election, but another Republican is making some noises about jumping in. State Rep. Frank Edelblut recently formed an exploratory committee and put $250,000 of his own money behind it. Edelblut has a business background and if he has some more money to burn, he could make things interesting.


  • CA-24: In the race to succeed retiring Rep. Lois Capps, Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi just endorsed Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal, the consensus favorite. Carbajal’s chief rival on the Democratic side is Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, but she’s struggled to earn much establishment support. Indeed, she’s one of just a few notable women candidates in the country who hasn’t earned the backing of EMILY’s List.
  • IL-13: The DCCC is talking to a new potential recruit to run against GOP Rep. Rodney Davis in Illinois’ swingy 13th District, assistant state Attorney General Tom Banning. He doesn’t have elective experience, but it sounds like he has an interesting background: He was raised by a single mother, then, he says, “worked [his] way out of poverty” by enlisting in the Marines. He served in Operation Just Cause (which terminated Manuel Noriega’s narco-kleptocracy in Panama in 1989), and then won a Bronze Star in Afghanistan with the Illinois National Guard. Another Democrat, Sangamon County Board member Tony DelGiorno, also says he’s interested, though it doesn’t sound like he’s been talking to the D-Trip. (In the words of the State Journal Register, “he plans to run as a progressive and thinks the DCCC is misguided if it wants a more conservative candidate.”) But he is pissed that perennial candidate David Gill, who’s unsuccessfully sought this seat four times as a Democrat, has decided to run again as an independent. DelGiornio rightly thinks that Gill can only act as a spoiler, and Gill doesn’t really disagree! Get a load of this delusional b.s.:

    “The presence of a Democrat will serve as a spoiler. I would win hands down if it was just independent me against Republican Davis.”

    This is insane, of course. Politics just doesn’t work this way, and Gill knows there will be a Democrat on the ballot. He could at least run for the party’s nomination again, but instead, he’s wants to be a purity troll and help keep Democrats in the minority in the House. What a schmuck.

  • KY-06: Kentucky’s 6th was one of those seats that sort of unexpectedly slipped away at the last moment in 2012: Democrats had actually managed to shore the district up a bit in redistricting, and Rep. Ben Chandler has always been a good fit for the area and had a reputation has a strong campaigner. But in a way, Chandler’s loss to Republican Andy Barr was sort of an overhang from 2010, despite the very different nature of the electoral climate. There simply wasn’t room anymore for a Blue Dog Democrat to represent coal country, not when Mitt Romney carried the district by a 56-42 margin. But despite the tough odds, the DCCC is trying to take a shot at reclaiming the seat by recruiting Matt Jones, a very popular sports radio host in Kentucky. Jones has lately been branching out from athletics to politics, and he even served as the emcee of this year’s Fancy Farm picnic. Both Jones and the D-Trip confirm they’ve been talking to one another, but Jones says he doesn’t want to make a decision until discuss it with his radio listeners—which is probably a savvy way of saying, “Let me put out some feelers and build up some buzz before I take the leap.” It would be a very difficult race for Jones, but basketball is like a religion in the Bluegrass State, and if he can win over a few parishioners who think it matters more than you support the University of Kentucky than Barack Obama, maybe he can drain a lucky bank-shot from beyond the arc.

Grab Bag:

  • Advertising: If you’re one of those people who pays close attention to the relative value of advertising dollars in different races (which doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a campaign pro; you might just be attempting to Moneyball your contributions), you’re probably well aware of the problem of “wasted eyeballs.” In short: Money gets spent on ads that mostly reach ineligible voters because they’re on the wrong side of state lines, or at the House level, of district lines. Google and digital firm Targeted Victory have put together an illustration that shows just how deep that problem goes: They calculate that nearly 75 percent of all spending on broadcast media on House races in 2014 (worth $240 million) was wasted. Bear in mind that these actors have an ulterior motive at work here by releasing this data: They’re trying to woo campaigns over to the more precise control that comes with digital media, instead of broadcast ads. Also keep in mind that broadcast ad buys tend to be targeted toward older voters who probably aren’t going to reached digitally anyway, since they aren’t spending much time, if any, online. But their interactive map is great fun to putter around on: you can check out the top 10 most wasteful House races of 2014 was IL-10, where there was a lot of money sloshing around and all the broadcast ads were in the Chicago market, where there are more than a dozen other districts covered, meaning 93 percent of all broadcast ad money was wasted. If you switch to the “find a district” mode, you can look at waste rates in the abstract in any district. The waste ranges between 0 percent in AK-AL and 6 percent in MT-AL, to races in the New York City and Los Angeles markets which are even worse than Chicago: In fact, NYC races feature 97 percent waste!
The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir and Jeff Singer, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, and Daniel Donner.

Progressive Breakfast: The Democrat/Republican Presidential Candidate Divide On Social Security




Dave Johnson

The Democrat/Republican Presidential Candidate Divide On Social SecurityMost current Republican presidential candidates, with the notable exception of Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee, follow this “on your own” philosophy, offering plans to raise the retirement age, raise the early retirement age, means-test benefits, cut benefits, partially privatize it with some of the money going into Wall Street-managed personal accounts or just privatize the program entirely with all of it going into Wall Street-managed personal accounts.

Biden and Warren Buzz

Vice-President Joe Biden meets with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, stoking speculation of presidential run. CNN:“Warren and Biden discussed economic policy during a meeting that lasted about two hours … the biggest indication yet that Biden is feeling out influential Democrats before announcing his intentions.”

Biden “is increasingly leaning toward entering the race” says WSJ:“Mr. Biden still could opt to sit out the 2016 race, and he is weighing multiple political, financial and family considerations before making a final decision.”

Some still want to draft Warren. The Hill:“‘I think she’d be beating Hillary. That’s my opinion,’ said Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America … ‘She’d be doing as well or better than Bernie’ [Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert] Borosage said, adding that it’s not too late for Warren to change her mind.”

Sanders Stumps in SC

Sen. Bernie Sanders make his case to African-American voters in SC. Politico:“[Sanders] marbled his stump speech with topics designed to appeal to African Americans: criminal justice reform, voter disenfranchisement, economic inequality among minorities, and preventing police brutality … The Sanders campaign also quietly reached out to local black leaders and activists for small-group sit-downs on subjects important to the black community.”

Bernie refuses to go negative on Hillary. The Hill:“‘You will never see us run attack ads against her,’ [campaign adviser Tad Devine] said. ‘You will never see, from him, the kind of personal, political attack that is common in presidential campaigns. He is not wired that way. He doesn’t believe in it. He thinks people are sick of it.’”

Trump Hits Hedge Fund Loophole

Trump suggests he will raise taxes on hedge fund managers. Reuters:“…Trump blasted hedge fund managers on Sunday as mere ‘paper pushers’ who he said were ‘getting away with murder’ by not paying their fair share of taxes … ‘The hedge fund guys didn’t build this country. These are guys that shift paper around and they get lucky … They pay no tax. It’s ridiculous’ … Trump did not offer any specific detail on how he would like to reform the tax code.”

“Trump attended big-donor fundraiser last month” reports Politico:“…even as Trump publicly scorned other candidates’ use of super PACs, he tacitly gave approval to the Make America Great Again PAC by attending a fundraiser the group held in New York last month.”

Restaurants responding to higher minimum wage laws by offering no-tipping policies. NYT:“Managers say it would also allow them to better calibrate wages to reward employees based on the length of their service and the complexity of their jobs. Several also cited research showing that diners tend to tip black servers less and that the system can encourage sexual harassment of women.”

Pressure On Fed Keep Rates Low

Larry Summers urges Fed to postpone rate hike in W. Post oped:“There can be no question that tightening policy will adversely affect levels of employment as higher interest rates make holding onto cash more attractive relative to investing … This is especially troubling at a time of rising inequality.”

Theory guiding Fed, linking low unemployment to inflation, not proven, notes WSJ:“The U.S. unemployment rate was 5.3% in July, just above the 5% to 5.2% range that Fed officials expect in the long run. But annualinflation readings have remained below the Fed’s 2% target, while pay raises seem stuck in low gear … the simple link between U.S. unemployment and inflation described by the Phillips curve appeared to break down after the 1960s…”

China Market Tanks

“China to Flood Economy With Cash as Global Markets Lose Faith” reports WSJ:“…China looked to flood its banking system with new liquidity to offset effects of its recent surprise currency devaluation … Beijing’s struggles this summer have spooked many investors into viewing China as a threat to, rather than a rescuer of, global growth.”

NYT’s Paul Krugman warns of a “global glut”:“…policy makers [should] take seriously the possibility, I’d say probability, that excess savings and persistent global weakness is the new normal … [But] Wall Street doesn’t want to hear that an unstable world requires strong financial regulation, and politicians who want to kill the welfare state don’t want to hear that government spending and debt aren’t problems in the current environment.”

Reid To Whip For Iran Deal

Sen. Harry Reid backs Iran deal. W. Post:“‘I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure the deal stands,’ he said … Reid [said] he was ‘cautiously optimistic’ that he would be able to secure enough support to prevent an override of Obama’s veto…”

As does former George H. W. Bush National Security Adviser, in W. Post oped:“…the JCPOA meets the key objective, shared by recent administrations of both parties, that Iran limit itself to a strictly civilian nuclear program with unprecedented verification and monitoring…”

Iran, shutdown faces Obama as he returns from vacation. NYT:“…Congress will have to pass funding legislation by the end of September to avoid shutting down the government for the second time in two years … other pieces of must- and should-pass legislation [include] extending authority for highway and infrastructure spending, reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank and dealing with various expiring tax provisions … The deadline for the first [Iran] vote is Sept. 14…”

Morning Digest: Florida Republicans tear themselves to shreds, refuse to draw new congressional map

  • FL Redistricting: In an epic descent into acrimony and recrimination, the Florida legislature concluded its special session on redistricting without producing a new congressional map, as ordered by the state Supreme Court. Even though—or perhaps because—Republicans control both chambers, the state House and Senate absolutely loathe one another: Earlier this year, the state government nearly shut down after the House refused to sign off on a Senate budget that would have expanded Medicaid. (Ultimately, the House prevailed, tanking the expansion.) With that history, it’s not so surprising that Republicans could reach no agreement on revising Florida’s congressional lines, which the court ruled were unconstitutional last month. But what makes this so amazing is that the differences between the two chambers’ proposals were really minimal. No one seemed to care that they were fighting over nothing, though, and the whole capitol collapsed into chaos: The Senate demanded the House pass its map; the House declined and called for a joint conference; angry senators proceeded to stalk out of that meeting; and then, finally, the House refused to extend the session past Friday’s noon deadline, which the Senate had voted in favor of earlier in the morning, thus sending everyone home. Insanity. It’s particularly nuts because now the court will almost certainly have to draw a new map itself. That’s all well and good for Democrats, but Republicans have been seething about what they (wrongly, comically) view as improper judicial interference in the redistricting process. Yet instead of retaining a measure of control over that process for themselves, they’ve decided to fully cede it back to seven judges who make up the state Supreme Court. It’s so crazy and so stupid that you have to wonder if there’s something else at play here, and the answer is “probably.” Matthew Isbell, one of the foremost experts on Florida cartography, points out that the legislature is due to reconvene for another special session in October, when it will redo the state Senate map (which faces similar constitutional infirmities). The House, says Isbell, is likely trying to assert its dominance ahead of that session, because the stakes will be much higher: Given Florida’s term limits, members of the lower chamber will want to maximize their opportunities to advance to the upper chamber. Those desires, though, will likely come into conflict with what senators want for themselves, and since any new map will have an immediate impact on them, they might be willing to demonstrate some more flexibility now that they know the House is willing to shoot the hostage. Or maybe not! Things are so poisonous in Tallahassee now that the Senate could very well strap some dynamite to its chest and light the fuse anyway. Whatever happens, Democrats have to be quite pleased. Their congressional gains won’t be huge—based on what the Supreme Court has said, we might be talking about a net change of one seat in the Democrats’ favor—but it’ll be better than the current state of affairs. And watching the GOP immolate itself in spectacular fashion for no good reason? Now that is a pearl beyond price.


  • KY-Sen: On Saturday, the Kentucky GOP voted to switch from a May presidential primary to a March caucus in order to accommodate Sen. Rand Paul. Paul has insisted on running for president and for re-election at the same time, but Kentucky law forbids a candidate from appearing on the same ballot for two different offices. Now, Paul will be able to run for president in March and for renomination in May, when the Bluegrass State will hold primaries for its federal and state offices. The one catch is that Paul is required to transfer $250,000 to the state GOP by Sept. 18 to pay for the caucus, but this shouldn’t be much of a hurdle. If Paul somehow does emerge with his party’s presidential nomination the GOP may have a hard time replacing him on the Senate ballot, but right now it looks like his presidential campaign is going nowhere.
  • Primaries: So far it’s just talk, but in an internal memo obtained by the AP, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce suggests it might get involved in a number of Democratic primaries next year, with the idea of helping to nominate weaker candidates or damaging nominees no matter who they are. The memo, which discusses four Senate and five House battlegrounds, specifically cites Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill’s highly successful effort to ratfuck the 2012 Missouri GOP primary to her advantage. Fortunately for Democrats, Republicans don’t have many targets that fit the Todd Akin mold. The only race where it seems like there’s a realistic chance of a less electable option winning a primary is Florida’s Senate contest, where the incendiary Alan Grayson is trying to thwart fellow Rep. Patrick Murphy, the establishment choice. All of the other races involve situations where one candidate is an overwhelming favorite for the nomination (like IL-Sen or OH-Sen), or where there’s little reason to think there’s much difference between the alternatives in a general election (like PA-Sen and basically all the House elections). That’s not say the Chamber or its allies couldn’t cause plenty of trouble. It absolutely could, and in fact, the Club for Growth has already run a quarter-million dollar TV ad buy trying to tarnish Murphy with Democratic voters while boosting Grayson. But let’s see if the Chamber actually follows suit, or if it’s just yapping.


  • LA-Gov: Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne has yet to launch any significant ad buys, but his allied super PAC Now or Never is up with their first spot. The group didn’t give out a specific size of the buy, only saying that it’s “well into the six figures” and running for “500 gross rating points.” (The group had a little less than $100,000 in the bank in mid-July.) The commercial isn’t online yet, but the Times-Picayune says it emphasizes Dardenne’s record as lieutenant governor while praising him for the tourism industry’s growth.


  • CA-44: Democratic state Sen. Isadore Hall has consolidated support from nearly every quarter in his bid to succeed retiring Rep. Janice Hahn—including from Hahn herself, who is running for a spot on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. But one fellow Democrat, Hermosa Beach City Council Member Nanette Barragan, just earned the endorsement of EMILY’s List, so she might have some staying power. Barragan hasn’t raised much money so far (she took in $165,000 in the second quarter of this year), but then again, neither has Hall (who brought in $221,000). But Barragan also faces some issues, like the fact that Hermosa Beach isn’t actually in California’s 44th District, and that she has to resign her seat—which she only began serving in 2013—to move back into the district, where she’s originally from. Hall camp has taken a few shots at her over this stuff, though it may not be the kind of thing voters wind up caring about. Since the 44th is overwhelmingly blue, two Democrats are all but certain to advance from June’s top-two primary to the November general election, so there’s a good chance that Hall and Barragan face off twice next year.
  • IN-04, AG: GOP Rep. Todd Rokita spent months mulling a Senate bid before declining to go for it, but he may have another statewide office in his sights. In the Aug. 21 edition of his newsletter, Brian Howey tells us that his sources are saying that Rokita is considering a bid for attorney general next year. The incumbent, Greg Zoeller, is giving up his post to run for IN-09. It’s rare to see entrenched House members run for a statewide office that isn’t governor or U.S. senator, especially when they’re in the majority. It might be that Rokita just really hates the House and wants to leave: Maybe Louie Gohmert stole his lunch money one time too many? If Rokita bails, the GOP won’t have any problem defending his central Indiana seat. Romney won 61-37 here, and even Richard Mourdock carried the 4th 49-44 during his disastrous 2012 Senate campaign.
  • IN-09: Former congressional aide Jim Pfaff is the latest candidate to open up a campaign account with the FEC without making a formal announcement. Pfaff has a long career in conservative politics but while he got his start with the Indiana GOP, he hasn’t been active there in a while. Pfaff used to work as a talk radio host in the Denver area before signing on as Kansas Rep. Tim Huelskamp’s chief of staff in 2010, and he was named the chair of the Douglas County, Colorado Republican Party at the beginning of this year. Pfaff joins state Sens. Erin Houchin and Brent Waltz and state Attorney General Greg Zoeller in the GOP primary for this red southern Indiana seat. (Hat-tip Politics1.)
  • PA-02: Perhaps indicted Rep. Chaka Fattah got a bit lucky, since the judge overseeing his corruption case just set his trial for a week after April’s Democratic primary. But that’s just likely to make the charges against him loom ever larger, and his rivals won’t hesitate to blast him.

Other Races:

  • WA Senate, House: There’s a key retirement in Washington’s state Senate, where the GOP coalition holds a 26 to 23 majority (nominal Democrat Tim Sheldon caucuses with the GOP). First-term Republican state Sen. Bruce Dammeier, from the 25th District in Tacoma’s suburbs, will forgo re-election in 2016 in order to run for Pierce County executive. That opens up this 51-47 Obama district, which could tip the balance back to the Democrats. However, the bench is a little depleted here; both of the House members in the 25th are also Republicans. Even if the Dems did pick up the 25th next year, they’d still need to flip one more seat to have a Sheldon-proof majority, though, and unfortunately most of the swingy seats are elected in midterm years instead. The 41st, currently held by the GOP’s Steve Litzow, is probably the other opportunity here, but Litzow survived 2012 without much trouble. And what the state Senate could giveth, though, the state House could taketh away. In the 30th District in suburban Federal Way, there’s a special election in November. Democrat Carol Gregory was appointed to fill the seat after the 2014 election, which Democrat Roger Freeman won despite having died shortly before the election. Because the appointment was early in the year, though, she faces a special election this year. While this is a 59 percent Obama district, the low-turnout, off-year dynamics seem to be hampering Gregory: She wound up finishing in second place in August’s top-two primary to Republican challenger Teri Hickel, 51-49. (Bear in mind this is the same district where Democrat-turned-Republican Mark Miloscia was elected to the Senate in 2014, and the other House seat is also held by a Republican, so the 59 percent is sort of misleading.) The Democrats would keep the majority even if they lost this seat, but the edge would be paper-thin; their current majority is only 51 to 47.

Grab Bag:

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir and Jeff Singer, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, and Daniel Donner

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