Coming soon: Enough: Our Fight to Keep America Safe from Gun Violence by former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly.
Archives for July 2014
A new Vox Populi Polling (R) survey finds David Perdue (R) with a nine-point lead over Michelle Nunn (D) in the U.S. Senate race, 49% to 40%, with 10% undecided.
David Wasserman: “As a House analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, I’ve personally interviewed over 300 congressional candidates over the course of seven years, both to get to know them and evaluate their chances of winning. I’ve been impressed by just as many Republicans as Democrats, and underwhelmed by equal numbers, too. Most are accustomed to tough questions.”
“But never have I met any candidate quite as frightening or fact-averse as Louisiana state Rep. Lenar Whitney, 55, who visited my office last Wednesday. It’s tough to decide which party’s worst nightmare she would be.”
The Defense Department and the Department of the Army “will be reviewing the plagiarism allegations against Sen. John Walsh (D-MT), according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army War College, where Walsh allegedly used the work of other people in his 2007 thesis for a master’s degree,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
“The school said that because Walsh is a member of Congress and a former military serviceman, the Defense Department’s Office of the Inspector General has authority to review the investigation.”
A new Gravis Marketing poll finds Steve Daines (R) has increased his over Walsh from four points to seven points, 45% to 38%, since the plagiarism scandal began.
“In ’06 I put a lot of my own money into the race, some people took away that I was trying to buy the race. This time I’m really focused on showing I have a broad base of support. And also, quite frankly, I learned that if somebody writes you a ten dollar check they’re going to vote for you.”
— Nebraska gubernatorial candidate Pete Ricketts (R), quoted by Bloomberg.
Ray LaRaja and Brian Schaffner: “In our forthcoming book, we show that campaign finance laws that empower parties do lead to less polarization. Party organizations do, in fact, behave differently than other partisan groups by mediating ideological sources of money and funneling it to moderate candidates. It may seem counterintuitive to fight polarization by empowering parties, but states with ‘party-centered’ campaign finance laws tend to be less polarized than states that constrain how the parties can support candidates.”
“We are not arguing that campaign finance laws are the underlying cause of polarization. But the rules often advantage the most ideological elements in each party coalition, who have an abiding interest in pushing for candidates who espouse their views of the world.”
Ezra Klein highlights a chart comes from the authors which shows “what most people intuitively know: the small minority of people who fund American politics are much, much more politically polarized than the vast majority of people who don’t contribute to campaigns.”
“Republicans hoped that by filing a lawsuit against President Obama — a move that is expected to win House endorsement Wednesday — they would mobilize conservatives eager for a confrontation with the White House. But so far it appears to be rallying Democrats at least as much as Republicans,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
“Warning that the lawsuit is just the first step toward impeachment, Democrats have turned the GOP strategy into their own fundraising and motivational tool, flooding supporters with emails in recent weeks.”
David Freedlander notes that if Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) “does in fact reverse her repeated denials of interest and decides to run for president, she will have to do so virtually alone. That’s because almost to a person, her earliest and most devoted backers do not want her to challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.”
“The U.S. economy rebounded strongly this spring after a first-quarter contraction, eking out positive growth over the past six months and raising hopes for sustained growth in the second half of 2014,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
First Read: “So both sides are playing this cynical game, turning the midterms into a base election that will be decided by who best motivates their base rather than by trying to fix the country’s problems. (Republicans: ‘This President is breaking the law!’ Democrats: ‘They want to impeach the president!’) And what’s particularly jarring is that this isn’t taking place on the campaign trail — but rather from their official capacities at the White House and on Capitol Hill. It’s beneath the White House, and it’s beneath the speaker. And each side can rationalize their actions all they want, but all its doing is reinforcing the decision by MILLIONS of Americans who have chosen not to participate in the political process this year that they made the right decision. The leaders in both parties aren’t taking their frustrations seriously. Instead, leaders in Washington are falling back on base turnout gimmicks.”
Wonk Wire: Strong connection between religion and political identity
Rhode Island Democratic party chairman David Caprio resigned Tuesday, saying he couldn’t “dedicate the the necessary time and energy” to help candidates in their campaigns, the Providence Journal reports.
His resignation came a day after reports that the state police are investigating a contract awarded to Caprio for beach concessions.
Karl Rove said President Obama “is playing with the American people by suggesting a constitutional crisis where none exists. Shame on him and shame on those people in the administration who participate with him,” Politico reports.
He added: “Shame on conservatives and Republicans who helped him along.”
Charlie Hurt: “All this talk of impeaching the president is the stupidest Republican political strategy so far this century.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) told the Louisville Courier Journal that he is working on a new book that will come out early next year — about the same time he will decide whether to run for president.
Said Paul while chuckling: “Just coincidence, probably just coincidence, yeah.”
“What happens is they’re like an Ebola virus that spreads. And if you can keep it contained with this bunch of people that really hate the government, OK, I respect their position. But when the virus spreads and they then have a bunch of people all nervous that if they vote the way they really think they should vote then bad things are going to happen, that messes up the process.”
— Former Rep. Steve LaTourette (R), quoted by the Wall Street Journal, on the conservative groups that demand ideological purity.