Welcome to the first business day of 2013 and the last day of the 112th Congress.
Fiscal Cliff - House: Here is the full House roll call from last night. As a side note, 8 Senators voted no: Republicans Paul, Lee, Grassley, Shelby, and Rubio, and Democrats Harkin (left), and Bennet and Carper (right). Kirk, Lautenberg, and DeMint did not vote.
MA-Sen: Democrats appeared to be closing ranks behind Rep. Ed Markey as their preferred nominee for the special election on Friday. Markey got endorsements from outgoing Sen. John Kerry, Vicki Kennedy, and DSCC chair Michael Bennet. But one person that isn't joining the party is Markey's congressional colleage and potential primary rival Mike Capuano.
“When I became mayor of Somerville the establishment wasn’t with me. When I became a member of Congress the establishment wasn’t with me. If I make this run it will be the same way — from the streets up, not from the elite down.”
ID-Sen '16: Sen. Mike Crapo (R) won't fight his DUI Charge.
FL-13: The house's longest-serving Republican, Bill Young, got a two-year wavier to remain atop the powerful Defense Appropriations subcomitee. It doesn't take too much dot-connecting to see this as a thank you from leadership for not retiring in 2012. (Young was apparently prodded into running again after initially wanting to retire last year). This move only adds to my suspiscions that Young is a very likely 2014 retirement.
MN-8: Incoming Rep. Rick Nolan has named former rival and ex-Duluth City Councilor Jeff Anderson as his district director, potentially setting up Anderson as Nolan's successor if Nolan leaves in the not-too-distant future.
State & Local:
NYC-Mayor: This profile of supermarket mogul John Catsimatidis might not help his chances for a run on the Republican line. In it, he styles himself as a "common billionare", and says that it was "scary" that a majority of his daughter's business school class was of Asian descent. Those quotes sound somewhat better in context, but it's pretty clear he doesn't exactly posess the politican's touch.
TX-LG: LG David Dewhurst's campaign manager for both his 2010 re-election and 2012 Senate campaign, Kenneth "Buddy" Barfield, has been accused of embezzling $600K from the campaigns.
TX-SD-6: An overview of the election that will take place on the 26th, to replace deceased Sen. Mario Gallegos (D-Houston). The heavily D (but extraordinarily low-tunout) seat basically corresponds to the congressional TX-29 in north and east Houston. The race, a Louisiana-style jungle primary, has been seen as a two-woman contest between State Rep. Carol Alvarado (D) and ex-County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia (D). While both are very liberal, Alvarado is the more establishment choice and Garcia is considered a little more mavericky. R. W. Bray (R), a former aide to a Houston City Councilor and unsuccesful 2012 nominee, is running again. If Bray can make it to a low-interest runoff, he might have an outside chance if turnout is low enough.
TX-St. House: Next Tuesday the TX State House will elect a speaker, and again incumbent Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) will face a challenge from his right, this time in the personage of David Simpson (R-Longview). Like most internal legislative races, this one is wraught with internal politics. Straus is considered a favorite for another term, thanks to his strong support on the Dem side of the aisle.