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by: shamlet

Fri Jun 19, 2015 at 17:00:00 PM EDT

Red Racing Horses has moved and is now located at Front-page content - Roundups, Breaking News, Open Threads, and Special Features - will now only be posted at This site will remain open for comments on technical issues for a few weeks. Please click the Red Racing Horses logo image above to be redirected to the new site!

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RRH Elections Is Now Live!

by: shamlet

Mon Jun 15, 2015 at 07:01:00 AM EDT

The big day is finally here: is now live! This week's roundups will be posted at both sites to allow people time to access their new accounts and to work out any technical issues that arise. Please update your bookmarks and start using as your new portal to access RRH. After Friday, we anticipate that no new content will be posted at (though the deadline may be extended by a few days if problems arise).

If you have any questions or problems with the transition, you can email us at or post issues in this thread.

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Political Roundup For June 19, 2015

by: izengabe

Fri Jun 19, 2015 at 07:00:00 AM EDT


Biden: Vice President Joe Biden is still considering a run for president. Two sources close to his family told U.S. News & World Report that Biden will make his decision by Aug 1st. If Hillary's campaign continues to stumble Joe Biden might think he's literally the white knight Democrats might need.

Hillary: Newly released Clinton emails show that Sidney Blumenthal was advising Hillary how to spin the fall of Moammar Qaddafi.

Rubio: The Washington Post takes a look at the campaign video on Marco Rubio's campaign page that his campaign did not make. The video, entitled "Because We Did", was created independently by a group of Rubio supporters and posted on YouTube. The Rubio campaign found it online and posted it on their official webpage. The genuineness of the video is quite clear and highlights how social media can play unexpected roles in political campaigns

Paul: Rand Paul wants to blow up the tax code and start over. His plan would call for a repeal of the 70,000 page tax code and replace it with a flat 14.5% tax on all corporate and personal income, including wages, salaries, dividends, capital gains, rents and interest. All deductions except for a mortgage and charities would be eliminated. The first $50,000 of income for a family of four would not be taxed. For low-income working families, the plan would retain the earned-income tax credit.

Bush: Jeb Bush slow jams the news.

Trump: Donald Trump trademarked his slogan “Make America Great Again!”. The man is truly a buffoon.


KY-Gov: Democrat gubernatorial candidate Jack Conway released summaries of his tax returns from 2012 to 2014 and called on his Republican opponent Matt Bevin to do the same. Conway reportedly earned $4.12 million in 2014. The bulk of that came from the profits of his sale of $5.38 million worth of Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP stock. Conway only donated $18,875 to charities in 2014 which is less than 0.46% of his income for the year.


OH-Sen: Sen. Robert Portman launched a six-figure digital ad buy that seeks to portray him as a fighter for blue-collar workers in Ohio. Portman will most likely face former Governor Ted Strickland (D) next year.

NH-Sen: Republican leaning outside groups have already spent $1 million on ads attacking Governor Maggie Hassan (D). What makes this expenditure so amazing is that Hassan still hasn't decided if she will challenge Sen. Kelly Ayotte (D) next year. Gov. Hassan is considered the strongest Democrat challenger and the ads are designed to drive her favorables down and convince Hassan to forgo a Senate run. Hassan isn't expected to decided until after the New Hampshire legislative session ends July 1. Some reports indicate that Hassan might pass on the difficult task of challenging the popular Ayotte and instead opt for a much easier re-election campaign. If Hassan passes Democrats might look at Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, Rep. Ann Kuster or former U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter as possible candidates for Senate.

PA-Sen: For what its worth, Franklin & Marshall College poll released Thursday has Sen. Pat Toomey (R) leading Joe Sestak (D) by 35 percent to 31 percent with a mere 34 percent of voters undecided. The poll also found Attorney General Kathleen Kane has a 15% favorable versus 32% unfavorable rating. They also polled on the issue of marijuana and found 87% of PA voters support legalizing medical marijuana and 40% support general legalization.

CO-Sen: Colorado attorney general Cynthia Coffman (R) will not run for Senate. In an interview with National Review Coffman makes it clear she will not challenge Sen Michael Bennet (D) next year. Coffman's husmand, Rep Mike Coffman (R) also ruled out a senate bid and will instead opt to run for re-election. Former state Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp (R) also ruled out a run.

FL-2018: 72 year old Sen Bill Nelson(D) probably quelled any speculation about his health when he easily blew threw 46 pushups to pay off a bet he made with Sen Dick Durbin over the Stanley Cup finals.


TX-27: Navy vet Dan McQueen (R) is 2nd Republican to enter into the primary race vs Rep. Blake Farenthold (R).

NV-3: The DCCC is trying to recruit former Secretary of State Ross Miller (D) to run for Congress. Miller is the son of former Nevada Gov. Bob Miller (D) and lost the 2014 Attorney General's race to Adam Laxalt (R). Rep Joe Heck (R) is the incumbent in this seat but most expect him to run for Senate in 2016.


New York Presidential Primary: A group of 71 New York Democrat lawmakers lead by former Speaker Shelly Silver (D) are seeking to change the date of the New York Presidential Primary which the DNC has scheduled for April 26 which is right in the middle of the Jewish holiday of Passover. In angry letter to DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz they called having a primary over Passover "offensive to the very principles of the Democratic party”. My guess is the date will most likely be changed. New York's election calendar has been a bit of a mess over the last few cycles due to a ruling that forced the Congressional primary to be moved to an earlier date. In 2012 New Yorkers had to vote 4 times, since the state had presidential primary in April, a congressional primary in June, a state primary in September and a general election in November. It remains to be seen if the general dysfunction of Albany will once again lead to 3 separate primaries for 1 general election in 2016.

Campaign Music: Byron York explains why candidates can tell musicians who object to their use of their music to "get lost". As long as a campaign paid the appropriate licencing fee for the right to use the music it really does not matter what the artist thinks. Once a campaign pays the licencing fee permission to use the music has been granted.

Elizabeth Warren and Rachel Dolezal: Howie Carr thinks Rachel Dolezal is Elizabeth Warren on steroids and rips her to shreds in his latest column. The Dolezal story has brought Warren's fauxcahontas controversy back into the public eye. The question for progressives is why Dolezal lying about her ethnicity is a scandal but Elizabeth Warren doing it is no big deal.

Danish Elections: The opposition center-right alliance led by former prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen scored a surprise victory in Danish elections on Thursday. Voters also gave a big boost to the anti-immigration Danish People's Party which will become the 2nd largest party in parliment. The center-right is projected to win 90 seats while the center-left bloc of of Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt is projected to win 89.

RIP: South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney (D) died during the shooting at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Sen Pinckney was a pastor at Emanuel AME Church. He was first elected to the South Carolina state house in 1996 at age 23 and won his senate seat in 2000. Pinckney was 41 years old.

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Political Roundup for June 18, 2015

by: shamlet

Thu Jun 18, 2015 at 07:52:37 AM EDT

Welcome to Thursday, everyone.

Presidential News:

Obama:  This is Zogby, so take it with some salt, but a recent poll claims to show that Obama is down to 41-54 approvals with American Jews.  The numbers make sense, as Obama's approval with American Jews has dipped substantially over the last year.

Quinnipiac: Q-polls yesterday in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida show Hillary Clinton's numbers falling dramatically, with Marco Rubio and Rand Paul appearing to have the best head-to-head numbers against Clinton.  Carrying Pennsylvania in 2016 would be a huge accomplishment for the GOP.  The Romney map + Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania = 273 Electoral Votes, and obviates the need to carry CO, NV, NH, IA, or VA.

Perry-Trump:  Perry makes the smart play refusing to engage Trump over a veiled reference to Perry sweating during his presidential campaign announcement.

Trump:  It appears as though Trump at least partially astroturfed his campaign announcement, having an agency locate "extras" to cheer him on for $50 bucks a pop.  Because, of course he did.


CO-Sen:  In something of a weird sequence of events, the head of the Colorado GOP appeared to informally resign his position a few days ago, partly at the behest of Attorney General Cynthia Coffman and ... Tom Tancredo.  (Who thought Coffman and Tancredo were working behind the scenes together?).  The GOP Chair Steve House claims that Coffman and Tancredo threatened to spread rumors about House's infidelity that caused him to informally resign.  He later thought better of it, and declined to officially resign.  For all of the commotion, the spin coming from local and national outlets is basically just that it makes it harder for Cynthia Coffman to challenge Michael Bennet--which she wasn't doing anyway--and that it takes the party's eye off of the ball in finding another challenger against Bennet.

AZ-Sen:  John McCain's anti-torture measure passed the Senate on Tuesday, which certainly burnishes his maverick credentials in preparation for a 2016 run for re-election.  I don't think McCain has any interest in leaving the ballgame when he still has the ability to make his agenda into law.

FL-Sen:  A who's who of Florida Democrats who have recently lost their elections is working hard to fund raise for Patrick Murphy.  Clearly the establishment hopes to give Murphy enough support to make Alan Grayson think twice about risking his House seat to challenge Murphy.

IL-Sen:  Senator Mark Kirk has apologized for his recent comment about Lindsey Graham, calling him a "bro with no ho."  Kirk, himself, is single.  It was the right move to apologize, but I doubt we've heard the last of this comment form Kirk's opponents.


NM-2:  Steve Pearce was booted off of the whip team in the House for failing to vote for procedural rules on the trade promotion authority bills last week.  Cynthia Lummis and Trent Franks have also been shown the door, but Pearce is the only one of the three in a semi-competitive district.  Pearce is wisely spinning the move as a demonstration that he cares about his constituents more than his party.

CA-16:  Jim Costa may go down this cycle, but if he does, it won't be because farmer Johnny Tacherra wins his rematch against the Central Valley Congressman, but because labor recruits a Democratic primary challenger.  Right now, labor is looking at Henry Perea--no progressive himself--who unions view as a step up from Costa.

CA-52:  Rep. Scott Peters and Carl DeMaio exchanged jabs over the recent guilty plea of former DeMaio staffer Todd Bosnich, who created a fake email account to send himself threatening letters purportedly from the DeMaio camp.  The Peters campaign has wisely maintained their distance from Bosnich and have reaped the rewards of his unlawful behavior without expressly endorsing it.


UKIP:  Across the pond, UKIP leader Nigel Farage is being challenged by something of a Stephen Colbert-type comedian personality, who's claimed to have started the "FUKP" party.  Sounds like good times over in England.

Supreme Court:  We will likely have at least one decision from the Supreme Court tomorrow, as well as some possible grants of new cases for next term.  Obviously the big cases still out there are the Obamacare, Arizona redistricting, and gay marriage cases, and any one of them could come down as early as today.

10-Dollar Bill:  Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced yesterday that he'll be selecting a female icon to supplement or replace Alexander Hamilton on the 10-Dollar Bill by the end of the year.  When reached about the news, Aaron Burr was ecstatic.  But it's not clear why this isn't happening with the 20-Dollar Bill, as there was a campaign earlier this year to move Andrew Jackson off of that bill in favor of Harriet Tubman.  Did you know that the last time that a person was removed from money  was 1929, when Grover Cleveland was replaced by Jackson on the 20-Dollar Bill?  (You can go to eBay now to look for old Grover Cleveland 20s.) And that 3 women have previously been featured on U.S. currency?  Sacagawea, Pocahontas, and Susan B. Anthony.

Campaign Music:  Republicans can't catch a break finding good campaign theme music, since the artists are primarily Democrats.  Of the 30 news stories Nate Silver could track down on the subject, 28 objections related to Republican candidates, and only 2 related to Democratic candidates.

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Political Roundup for June 17, 2015

by: GoBigRedState

Wed Jun 17, 2015 at 07:00:00 AM EDT


NH Dem. Primary: Another poll shows that Sen. Bernie Sanders is keeping it relatively close with Hillary Clinton in the Granite State. A Suffolk University Poll has Clinton up just 41-31 on Sanders, and Sanders actually leads among men. Of course being from neighboring Vermont helps Sanders and even keeping it close with Hillary may not hurt her that much in the long run, but it does indicate problems with enthusiasm with Hillary among the base.

Webb: Ex-Sen. Jim Webb (D) says he will decide by the end of the month whether to run for president. He says he has to assess whether he can raise enough money to be competitive. He is currently in Iowa and says he thinks it is a key state where he could connect with voters.


NV-Sen: Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Beers (R) is dropping out of the race for US Senate. Beers got in the race more than a year ago, before Sen. Harry Reid (D) decided not to run for re-election. Beers says his main goal was to keep Reid from running again and he accomplished that goal. In reality though, he had little chance of winning a primary against a more well-known Republican, such as Rep. Joe Heck, who seems likely to run.

Conservative groups: In recent years, conservative groups such as the Club for Growth have been playing offense, challenging incumbents who weren't seen as conservative enough. This year however, they are playing defense more than offense, protecting incumbents such as Sens. Mike Lee of Utah, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. The only incumbent Republican senator such groups really seem to be targeting this year is Sen. John McCain. They are taking a pass on targeting more moderate Republican senators in blue states such as Sen. Mark Kirk and Sen. Kelly Ayotte. In states with open races, most conservative groups have got behind Rep. Ron DeSantis (R) in Florida and the SCF has endorsed Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R) in Indiana, although the CfG has not endorsed in that race yet.


VT-Gov: There is one candidate already in the race for governor, although he is classified as a "fringe" candidate. H. Brooke Paige (D) is running to succeed Gov. Peter Shumlin (D). Paige took 18% in a 2014 primary challenge to Shumlin, and took 25% in a bid for the 2012 Republican nomination for US Senate.

WV-Gov: Attorney General Patrick Morrissey (R) announced yesterday that he will not run for governor. This is good news for Republicans as with Rep. David McKinley (R) earlier forgoing a bid, it is likely that state Senate President Bill Cole (R) will have the field to himself, avoiding a potentially costly and bruising primary.

State offices/other:

WV-Aud.: State Auditor Glen Gainer will run for a 7th term as State Auditor. Gainer lost to Rep. David McKinley (R) in a race for WV-1 last year and said he considered running for a different office next year, but instead decided to run for re-election as auditor.

UK-Labour leadership: The candidates for Labour Party leader are set. Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Jeremy Corbyn and Liz Kendall are in the running. It figures to be a mostly boring affair, with far Left candidate(and 9/11 truther) Corbyn providing the only excitement. Tory supporters are somewhat jokingly encouraging Labour Party members to vote for Corbyn, seeing as how his far Left views would damage the party, but Corbyn isn't expected to have much chance at winning. Burnham and Cooper are more traditional liberals, while Kendall is the Blairite candidate. Voting will occur from August 14-September 10, with the result announced September 12.

Canada election reform: Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau is proposing 2 major electoral reforms for Canada in the run-up to the October general election. He wants to make voting mandatory, like Australia and he also wants to change the first past the post system for parliamentary elections. Instead, Trudeau proposes a preferential balloting system(also similar to Australia) where voters rank their choices. He also says he is willing to consider a proportional representation model as well, which would take different forms depending on which method is used.

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Political Roundup for June 16th, 2015

by: Daniel Surman

Tue Jun 16, 2015 at 07:00:00 AM EDT

Day two of our grand experiment. Remember, posts here cease next week, so get over to RRH Elections.


National: A Monmouth University poll released yesterday shows undecided dominating the Republican primary field with 20%. Next up was Carson (11%), Walker (10%), Bush / Rubio (9%), Huckabee (8%), Rand (6%), and Cruz (5%). So yeah, ball remains in the air.

Walker: While there is still some internal discussion, several sources peg July 13th as Walker's official announcement date.

Jeb: On the heels of yesterday's announcement, Jeb will announce his first list of New Hampshire endorsements today. Headlining the group is State Senator Russell Prescott.

Trump: He may actually do it. Apparently the Trump will soon release a financial disclosure detailing (well, summarizing) summary of his assets, largely tied up in a real estate empire. The sum on the two-page document will float around $9 billion.

Cruz: Continuing to work his home base in Houston, Ted Cruz spoke Monday at a luncheon of Houston's C Club, a prominent gathering of conservative donors in the area.

Christie: Interestingly, Christie is taking the pro-government side in a prominent eminent domain case in New Jersey. Christie has always portrayed himself as a law and order conservative on these types of issues though, so the stance should not be too surprising. 


AZ-SEN: Senator John McCain (R) is fundraising, but he may wait until September to fill key staff positions like his campaign manager. The wait could give McCain space to retire if someone like Rep. Matt Salmon (R) jumps into the race, or it could be McCain has his own way of doing things. Thus is the nature of speculation.

WI-SEN: Mr. Campaign Finance himself, former Sen. Russ Feingold, ran an arguably scammy organization called Progressives United PAC. Most of its fundraising went into a direct mail firm or into the pockets of a number of former staffers. PACs like these are not really new, nor are they necessarily unethical, but like much of the nonprofit world they misrepresent to donors just how helpfully they spend their money.


FL-13: Former Tampa City Council member Mary Mulhern (D) is "investigating" moving to Pinellas County and running for Rep. David Jolly (R). Jolly has been considering a Senate run but is probably more likely to stay put. Mulhern is following in the well-worn footsteps of Alex Sink, who prominently carpetbagged into and lost this swingy seat in a special election.

State & Local

San Antonio: Some post hoc analysis on last Sunday's San Antonio mayoral election, where interim Mayor Ivy Taylor (D) put together a coalition headlined by Republican voters to win election in her own right.

Houston: Meanwhile, the race bodes poorly for Adrian Garcia over in Houston, who is attempting to stitch together Hispanic support in his own mayoral bid. That race is dominated by State Rep. Sylvester Turner, although the field remains highly unsettled. However, off-year municipal races in Texas (and even other states) have terrible Hispanic turnout as a rule.

IL-LEG: In a step down, former Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon (D) is considering a run for State Senate. The seat is open, R+8 but historically Democratic. She said she will decide within the next few months.

WV-LEG: State Senator Herb Snyder (D) is retiring after almost two decades in this seat. He already has a replacement candidate, Delegate Stephen Skinner (D). Republican Patricia Rucker has already filed for the race, which will be a rematch- Skinner and Rucker duked it out in a close matchup in 2014. 

TX-LEG: State Senator Kevin Eltife of Tyler is retiring. Firebrand State Rep. David Simpson will announce a bid for the safe Republican seat later this month, as will State Rep. Bryan Hughes. Outgoing SBOE member Thomas Ratliff, son of the former Lt. Governor, is also considering a run with Eltife out. Both Simpson and Hughes clashed with House leadership and will probably deviate from Eltife in the legislature, who was known for his maverick votes on taxes and immigration issues.

MD-LEG: Former State Rep. and one-time gubernatorial candidate Ron George (R) is already moving and announcing a bid for State Senate. George represented part of the swingy Annapolis-based district in the past.

Special Elections:

There are two legislative specials in Georgia using Louisiana-Rules Top Two. Both are one-party affairs. GA-LD-24 covers the Cumming area of Forsyth County in Atlanta's blood-red northeast exurbs. Four Republicans are running. Antiestablishment former CIA Agent Sheri Gilligan (R), who took 42% in a primary challenge to the previous Rep. last year, is likely to get one of the two runoff spots but will have a hard time clearing 50. It's an open question who will join her. Ex-Forsyth GOP chair Ethan Underwood (R), former GA College Republicans chair Will Kremer (R), and attorney David Van Sant (R) are all running serious campaigns. GA-LD-55 covers middle-class African American neighborhoods around the Adamsville and Ben Hill sections of southwest Atlanta. Five Dems and a Republican running as an Indie are seeking the seat that longtime incumbent Tyrone Brooks (D) vacated after a tax-fraud conviction. The front-runner and a very likely runoff contender seems to be Shelitha Robertson (D), who lost a judicial race last year. After Robertson's main opponent, Tyrone Brooks Jr. (D), was disqualified last week due to residency violations, any of the four other Some Dude-ish Dem candidates in the race or the I could have the chance to advance.

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Political Roundup for June 15th, 2015

by: Greyhound

Mon Jun 15, 2015 at 07:00:00 AM EDT

Welcome to the last week of roundups on!  
We're making the shift to this week, so let us know if you have any problems logging in to your new accounts!


Fiorina: Carly Fiorina, the failed 2010 CA GOP Senate candidate and former HP CEO, continues to sound good on the campaign trail. Lately she’s been trying to make a feminist case, but not a left-leaning feminist one, which she argues has become hypocritical. Unlike most of the other members of the clown car “B Team” primary, I think having Fiorina around is a net positive for us, as she at least knows how to fill a niche and give a good speech. I’m not sure how well she’d do as a candidate, but she might be able to get herself a political future somewhere down the line, either in a cabinet or at the RNC.

GOP-Polls: Yet another poll has the early states in complete chaos. Walker leads in Iowa, Bush leads in New Hampshire, and Graham leads in South Carolina.

Iowa: The Iowa GOP Straw poll is dead. The poll has gotten increasingly irrelevant in picking actual winners, as it shifted from being an indicator of support to something campaigns actively tried to win. As one of our commenter’s mentioned, killing the Straw Poll is probably the biggest and most significant thing Michelle Bachmann’s ever done.

Jeb: Jeb Bush rolled out a list of endorsements, covering some of the most prominent Florida Republicans. The list includes most of the Republican statewide officeholders (aside from Rubio of course), and a majority of the state’s Republican house delegation, including all 3 Cuban representatives. This was expected, as Bush has been deeply involved with the Florida GOP for almost 3 decades now, and is clearly aimed at the less establishment-oriented Rubio in the battle for the biggest early state.

Sanders: The Socialist from Vermont may not be attracting widespread support, but he is getting an enthusiastic embrace from the Progressive left. He’s still unlikely to pose a serious threat to Clinton in the Democratic primary, but he is filling a niche for progressives upset with the Obama administration’s less-than-zealous pursuit of their agenda. In a poll by morning consultant, Sanders is still trailing significantly in Iowa and South Carolina, but is within 12 points in New Hampshire.


IL-Sen: Robin Kelley is out, meaning that Duckworth is running without a significant challenger for the Democratic primary for their best pickup opportunity next year. Her only remaining serious candidate is former Chicago Urban League president Andrea Zopp, who stands little chance of breaking out of her home base in the black parts of Chicago. Kelley is also joining Duckworth in attacking Kirk over his “Bro with no ho” comment, calling it sexist and racist.

MD-Sen: Paul Sarbanes will not run for the open Senate Seat next year. Although the CW was that he wasn’t planning on running, the race between MontoCo rep Chris Van Hollen and PGC rep Donna Edwards leaves space for a Baltimore Democrat to run against a divided D.C. base, and Sarbane’s high name recognition from his father’s long Senate tenure and his spaghetti district would have made him a formidable candidate. The focus now turns to MD-7 rep Elijah Cummings and his predecessor Kweisi Mfume, who could each take up the Baltimore mantle in the D primary.


CT-Gov: Tom Foley is considering a third run for Governor, specifically citing Malloy’s broken no-new-taxes pledge. He also lamented the fact that Connecticut doesn’t have a recall provision like some other states.

PA-AG: Republican State Senator John Rafferty of outer SEPA has announced he is running for this office next year. It remains to be seen if the incumbent Kathleen Kane can even make it to the primary without winding up in jail, but here’s to hoping that her disastrous tenure in the office will remind Pennsylvania why it used to only elect Republicans AGs.


CA-31: Joe Baca, last seen losing the Fontana mayor election almost 3:1 against a Republican, has decided to become one. The longtime Inland-Empire Democrat has officially registered as a Republican despite being a staple of Democratic politics in San Bernardino County for over 4 decades. He is openly considering running for an office as a Republican, but I sincerely hope we can find someone better than what amounts to a serially under-performing Hispanic version of Parker Griffith.

CA-52: Todd Bosnich, who you may remember as the former Carl DeMaio staffer whose repeated accusations against his former boss derailed DeMaio’s shot at winning CA-52 last year, has admitted that he made most of it up. Specifically, he lied about receiving a threatening email from DeMaio, though he has also admitted to stealing campaign documents which he then gave to Scott Peters, the Democratic incumbent. Bosnich will now face an obstruction of justice charge for his crimes, while we all learn an important lesson in campaign strategy—lying works, but you have to be willing to go all the way. No word on if DeMaio will try for a rematch.

DE-AL: Two Democrats in the Delaware State Legislature have both announced that they would be interested in running for the state’s lone House district if it were to become open. The timing of this makes me think that current incumbent John Carney is actively talking about either retiring or moving up the ladder—these seem like odd statements to make otherwise.

UT-4: Doug Owens, the Democrats who narrowly lost the open UT-4 election last year to current incumbent Mia Love, has said he is openly considering a rematch. Love’s unusually poor performance in an open and deep red district in a good GOP year has given a lot of Republicans concerns about her electability, so we’ll have to see if she can put up more respectable numbers as an incumbent.


Obama & Trade: This article argues that Obama’s trade flop signals the effective end of both his presidency, and of his leadership of the Democratic Party. The president went all-in lobbying his fellow Democrats to vote for the trade fast-track agreement, and in the end it passed almost exclusively on the backs of Republicans in the house. Clinton is the obvious successor as the effective leader of the Democrats now, but her almost complete silence on the fast-track accord and on trade in general suggests she’s getting the position more or less by default.

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Weekend Open Thread For June 12-14, 2015

by: izengabe

Fri Jun 12, 2015 at 17:30:00 PM EDT

Welcome to the weekend! RRH Elections will go live on Monday. We have been working hard to get everything up and ready for the transition. Like any move there is always a financial cost associated with making a change. If any of our loyal readers (and even some of our non loyal readers) would like to help us cover some of the cost by making a donation to the site we would be grateful. The donation button can be found on the top right hand corner of the website. We are looking forward to doing a lot of great things once we transition to RRH Election and replenishing our depleted funds will allow us to get to polling and other good stuff even sooner!

Now here our some questions for our final Weekend Open Thread on the Soapbox platform:

1) Who is the most electable GOP presidential candidate and why?

2) How important is a candidate's personal finances to their ability to do the job? When should it be an issue?

3) Two months after first announcing her candidacy Hillary Clinton is rebooting her campaign with an official announcement speech this Saturday on Roosevelt Island in New York. If you could hire a plane to fly a banner over her announcement what would that banner say?

And because it is the weekend we give you murder and catfish....CLICk HERE

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San Antonio Mayoral Runoff Preview & Liveblog

by: shamlet

Fri Jun 12, 2015 at 12:00:00 PM EDT

9:36 - 70% in and I'm calling it for Taylor. She's up 2200 votes or just over 2%. And with that, we conclude our election coverage at RRH 1.0. Our first election on the new site will be the IL-18 Primary in early July.

9:22 - 52% in and it's starting to look like Taylor has got this. She's up by 2400 and Van De Putte has only netted 800 votes from the half of the election-day vote that's in. Unless the north side is counting much faster than the south side, I'm fairly confident in thinking this will be a 1-2 point win for Taylor.

9:11 - 32% of election-day votes are in, and we're at Taylor+2700 (3% margin). Van De Putte is winning election day votes but so far it's not quite by enough - if these precincts are representative Taylor would still win by a couple hundred votes.

8:55 - First election day precincts are finally in and very good for VDP. 5%, or 1500 votes, are in (we don't know from which part of the city) and she shaved 300 votes off the 3300-vote gap.

8:08 - 65K Early Votes have gone 52.5% for Taylor. The Election-Day vote was supposed to be more VDP-friendly so this one may go down to the wire.

8:00 - Polls have closed in the Alamo City.

Results: Bexar BOE


Tomorrow we have the last election RRH 1.0 will be covering: the runoff for San Antonio Mayor. The race has been contentious and nasty and watching the results tomorrow could be very exciting. We will have a liveblog in this diary starting tomorrow at 8. At the presidential level, San Antonio is only light-blue; however, Republicans are poorly organized in this part of Texas, and as a result, this race is a D-on-D runoff. There has been no polling of the race, but conventional wisdom suggests that it is neck-and-neck.

Coming in first in May's first round was ex-State Sen. Leticia Van De Putte (D). A mainstream liberal with close connections to party leaders at the state and national levels, Van De Putte was considered a front-runner for this seat almost from the moment she entered the race. Van De Putte has locked up most union support and is counting on union turnout, the liberal base, and support from Hispanic voters in the central, southern, and western portions of the city to win. 

A close second in the first round was appointed incumbent Ivy Taylor (D). Taylor was a suprise interim pick, based in significant part on her pledge to not seek a full term. However, she later reneged on that pledge and has carved out a niche as something of a DINO. As such, Taylor's main base of support comes from Republicans on the city's north side. Taylor is also African-American and has recieved support from the small but politically active black community on the east side. The race has been shaken up in recent days by allegations that Taylor's husband refused to cooperate with a police investigation of a fight outside his business. Van De Putte has seized on this angle to portray Taylor as soft on crime to north side voters, but it's an open question if the attacks will work or blow-back. 

Taylor's camp has been encouraged by high absolute turnout on the north and east sides in early voting, but turnout has jumped more from the first round on the Van De Putte-friendly south and west sides. Right now about all I can say is that this race still looks like a jump ball.

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Political Roundup for June 12th, 2015

by: Daniel Surman

Fri Jun 12, 2015 at 07:10:00 AM EDT

One last day until the weekend, and only three until our new site launches. Please stay tuned for RRH 1.0's last election preview, for the San Antonio Mayoral Runoff, at noon today.


Texas: Everybody and their brother is fundraising here. Jeb will take a swing after his presidential announcement on Monday. Rick Perry is hitting seven cities in four days. Honestly, every few days you'll hear about another.

Jeb: The Daily Caller says a handful of prominent Florida Republicans will endorse Jeb Bush on Monday when he announces for President. The endorsements are expected to include Attorney General Pam Bondi, who is regularly touted as a candidate for higher office, and Rep. Daniel Webster. Jeb and Sen. Marco Rubio are locked in a presidential primary battle for their home state, which is winner-take-all in the delegates this year. 


NC-Sen: 32 year-old state Sen. Jeff Jackson (D) is opting to run for reelection rather than challenging Sen. Richard Burr (R) for US Senate. This won't matter if former Sen. Kay Hagan (D) decides to run again, but the pickings look intimidating beyond her for Democrats.

IN-Sen: We already knew it wasn't going to happen, but to be clear former Sen. Evan Bayh (D) and his fat pile of campaign cash will not run for the open Senate seat here. Former Rep. Baron Hill (D) is already getting fundraising help from the likes of Sen. Reid and Rep. Hoyer, so a primary should not be too big of a worry for him.

IL-Sen: In the latest in imaginary firestorms, Sen. Mark Kirk (R) is getting some raised eyebrows for a joking comment about fellow Sen. Lindsey Graham's bachelor status. Speaking to another colleague, he said "He's a bro with no ho. That's what we say on the South Side." Kirk apologized, of course.

FL-Sen: Not sure if we missed this or it was released late, but this Saint Leo University poll from late May claims Rep. Patrick Murphy leads Alan Grayson 27%-24%. HOWEVER, a handy debunking (adults only, online only, etc.) shows this poll's methodological messiness, so parch your mouth on some salt.


MA-Gov: Massachusetts voters prove their independence sexism yet again with the latest poll numbers from the MassINC Polling Group. Governor Charlie Baker comes out strongest among tested policos with a 69%-10% favorability rating. In contrast, Sen. Elizabeth Warren pulls 53%-34%, while Hillary Clinton has 48%-38%.

MN-Gov: It's a shame Mark Dayton is not going to be on the ballot again. This last legislative session, the Governor got boxed out and made to look foolish, largely at the hands of Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL). If Bakk can hold off a rebellion of his caucus during the special session, he'll make out the big winner in round one of two legislative sessions.


IA-3: It's not unheard of, but it is rare. Former Iowa Governor Chet Culver (D), last seen receiving a beatdown from Terry Branstad in 2010, may run for Congress in 2016.  However despite confirmation from some folks he is reaching out to allies, in general Culver's exploring of the race has been covert. And as a former Governor, that's a weird way for the 800 lb gorilla in the room to act. Of course, readers will remember the last governor to jump to Congress was Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC).

IA-1: Amazingly, Rep. Rod Blum (R) admits to Roll Call that he is having problems with the NRCC but says other groups are willing to step in to help. He also loaned his campaign $500k in 2015 as a sign of investment in the next cycle.

PA-6: Straight from the horse's mouth, anesthesiologist and member of the West Whiteland Township (pop. 18,000) Board of Supervisors Joe Denham (D) is considering a run. Denham is the only Democrat on his township's board, and his profession ought to give him some seed money to get off the ground. Freshman Rep. Ryan Costello holds this swingy seat, which is better known for its perennial Democratic candidate and Bold Progressive Manan Trevedi.


PA-Leg: Three Philadelphia state House seats are getting special elections August 11th to fill their vacancies. One of the seats opened after a state Representative was elected to higher office; the other two resulted from a corruption scandal. These are safe D affairs, but interestingly two of the open seats had incumbents that faced no elections, primary or general, from 2008 to 2014.

PA-AG: State Rep. Todd Stephens (R) of Montgomery County is considering a run for Pennsylvania Attorney General. Considering the long-running drama around incumbent Kathleen Kane, more Republican and Democratic challengers are likely. State Senator John Rafferty (R) is also considering a run.

Toledo-Mayor: Two new candidates are looking at runs: center-right former Mayor Mike Bell (I) and Councilman Rob Ludeman (R). Ludeman will file right before the Sept. 4 deadline if he runs. Incumbent Paula Hicks-Hudson (D) and Voinovich aide Sandy Drabik-Collins (R) are the declared candidates while ex-Mayor Carty Finkbeiner (D) is also considering and openly campaigning (h/t Shamlet for the wording).

Akron-Mayor: A pile of seven candidates are running, six Democrats and one token Republican. Among the candidates running are Summit County Councilman Frank Comunale, Summit County Clerk of Courts Dan Horrigan, state Sen. Tom Sawyer and Akron Councilman Mike Williams. But among all the names running, Natural Hunka Kaboom sticks out. Of course, he's a pastor and activist.

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