US Mid-Term Election Campaign Reader

 

Colorado GOP Looking to Replace Dan Maes in Governor's Race
Colorado Pols, a Colorado political news site, reports that Republican "emissaries" met on Friday with Republican Gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes in an effort to persuade him to drop out of the race for Governor.

According to an anonymous Republican source, GOP Chair Dick Wadhams is not among those involved in the meeting in an effort to keep some official distance from the process. The message from Republicans is that there will be no outside money and no fundraising assistance for Maes if he stays in the race, but if he drops out there could be support for him for future opportunities.

Republican leaders have been conspicuous in their public silence about Maes, and that silence was apparently part of the plan leading up to today's meeting. Top Republicans wanted to let Maes have a few days to himself after the election, hoping that their lack of attention would show him that he doesn't have the support he would need to win in November.

From what we have heard over the last 24 hours, however, Maes is unlikely to agree to any terms that would see him remove himself from the race for Governor because he truly believes that he has earned the nomination. As part of a last-ditch effort, top Republicans may try to get Maes to agree to their choice for a running mate, in hopes that a stronger Lieutenant Governor could be in a position to take over the ballot at some point.

It's important to keep in mind that these discussions are not really about finding a candidate who can win the governor's race in November. As we first reported in mid-July, Republicans recognize that their chances at beating Democrat John Hickenlooper are close to zero. What they want now is to find someone who can excite the GOP base and not be a drag on the ticket -- both for Ken Buck's U.S. Senate bid and for the downballot races. Maes can't win, and neither can a potential replacement; but at least a potential replacement isn't regularly being mocked both locally and nationally as a joke of a candidate. Maes' much-discussed "U.N. Bicycle Plot" is bad enough when he's just one of several candidates running in a Primary, but now it's the Republican candidate for Governor saying these things. That's a lot different.

Portman Holds Narrow Lead in Ohio Senate Race
Republican Rob Portman holds a narrow lead over Democrat Lee Fisher, the current Lieutenant Governor of Ohio, in the race to succeed Senator George Voinovich according to a poll conducted by Reuters/Ipsos. Portman, director of the Office of Budget and Management and the U.S. Trade Representative under former President George W. Bush, leads Fisher 43 percent to 36 percent among likely voters.

In the Ohio Governor's race, former nine term Republican Congressman John Kasich leads incumbent Democrat Ted Strickland by 48 percent to 39 percent among likely voters. Meanwhile, the Ohio Democratic Party has just released a 60 second spot hitting Kasich for running from his Lehman Brothers background. In 2008 Kasich was proud to state, "I work on Wall Street." In 2010, Congressman Kasich has been seeking to downplay his eight years as managing director at Lehman Brothers, claiming he operated out of a two-man office in Columbus.

There's more...

Quick Hits

Here are some other news items making the rounds today.

The White House is announcing that Christina D. Romer, the chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, will step down from the post next month. Ms. Romer is to return to California and her post as a professor at the University of California at Berkeley. The move seems more personal than a departure over policy differences. Ms. Romer has a son entering his freshman year of high school. The New York Times has more.

The Hill interviews California Congressman Henry Waxman, the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Waxman, looking on the sunny side of the street as the Democrats face an tough electoral environment, believes the November elections will likely weed out some of the “most difficult Democrats” that leadership lawmakers have dealt with this Congress.

A conservative in Colorado asks Gay Marriage, Forgive Me But What is the Problem Here?

Mother Jones has an important article looking at how the Federal housing agencies—and some of the biggest bailed-out banks—are helping shady lawyers make millions by pushing families out of their homes.

Brian Beutler has an update over at Talking Points Memo on the infighting amongst the members of the White House's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. Beulter writes that "a source familiar with the proceedings of the working group on discretionary spending tells TPM that some commissioners, including one military contractor, would prefer to save money by freezing military pay and scaling back benefits, rather than by eliminating waste in defense contracting.

The editorial of the day is from the Denver Post. Entitled GOP's Big Tent is a Real Circus, the editorial board writes that the "Republicans are without a credible candidate in the governor's race - but one candidate is even less credible than the other" adding that Dan Maes' "grand bike conspiracy, however, takes the cake. This man must not be governor." Meanwhile Business Week reports that Dan Maes told the Denver Petroleum Club he would cut at least 2,000 workers "just like that" from the state budget, with projected savings of $200 million as well as force a showdown with the Federal government over drilling for gas and oil.

Tancredo Officially A Candidate in Colorado on a Third Party Ticket

Former Colorado Congressman Tommy Tancredo who has made a career running as a xenophobic nativist has officially entered the Colorado governor's race as the candidate of American Constitution Party. Twice a distant also ran for the GOP presidential nomination, Tancredo had issued an ultimatum last week to the two GOP contenders for GOP nomination, Dan Maes and Scott McInnis, that he would enter the race if they didn't announce that they would drop out after the August 10 primary if they won but still trailed Democrat John Hickenlooper in the polls. Both Maes and McInnis have been plagued by scandals.

More from KWGN-Denver.

The American Constitution Party was formed in 1991 and was originally called the Colorado Taxpayers Party, but changed its named to the American Constitution Party in 1995. The party is "pro-life, pro-states' rights, pro-Second Amendment" and for limited government, according to its website. It opposes illegal immigration and open borders. The party also believes that the American "republic is a nation governed by a constitution rooted in Biblical law."

Quick Hits

Here are a few other news stories and interesting reads.

Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey, currently running third in the state's Republican gubernatorial primary race, has noted that he is not sure that Islam is a religion and that thus he's not sure if Constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion apply to Muslims. The full story with video from Talking Points Memo.

President Barack Obama is scheduled to visit on the Whoppi Goldberg hosted and female oriented daytime talk show "The View" on Thursday. Executive producers Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie said in making Monday's announcement that it will mark the first time a sitting U.S. president has visited a daytime talk show. Obama's interview will touch on topics including jobs, the economy, the Gulf oil spill and family life inside the White House. It is scheduled to be taped on Wednesday.

The Denver Post reports that former GOP Congressman and immigration zealot will run for Governor of Colorado on the American Constitution Party ticket.

BP CEO Tony Hayward is to step down by the end of the year. He will also get an immediate annual pension worth about £600,000 ($930,000) when he leaves according to the BBC. Meanwhile, the Miami Herald reports that Hayward will take a new job with a BP joint venture in Russia. Also see Nathan's expanded post.

The National Journal has a story on the nation's rapidly changing demographics entitled The Gray And The Brown: The Generational Mismatch. A snippet:

At the root of the generational mismatch are federal policies that severely reduced immigration from the 1920s until Congress loosened the restrictions in 1965. With immigration constrained, whites remained an overwhelming majority of American society through the mid-20th century, including the years of the post-World War II Baby Boom. (Demographers date the Baby Boom from 1946 to 1964, the year before the restrictions on immigration were eased.) The result was a heavily white generation of young people.

"Most Boomers grew up and lived much of their lives in predominantly white suburbs, residentially isolated from minorities," Frey wrote this spring. They are now graying into a senior generation that is four-fifths white, according to census figures.

Since 1965, however, expanded immigration and higher fertility rates among minorities have literally changed the face of America, particularly on the playground. As recently as 1980, minorities made up about one-fifth of the total population and one-fourth of children under 18. Today, the Census Bureau reports, racial minorities represent about 35 percent of the total population and 44 percent of children under 18. Whites make up 56 percent of young people and 80 percent of seniors. The 24-point spread between the white percentage of the senior and the youth populations is what Frey calls the cultural generation gap.

This split has widened rapidly over the past quarter-century. In 1980, it stood at just 14 percentage points, according to calculations performed by the Census Bureau for National Journal. The gap expanded to 18 points by 1990 and 23 points by 2000. Today, it is visible across a wide swath of the U.S. In 31 states, the difference between the white share of the senior and youth population is at least 19 percentage points.

The article goes on to discuss the political implications of this racial and generational divide. Another somewhat related story below.

Climate refugees are already a fact of life. But a new study suggests that the number is to grow exponentially. As many as 7 million Mexicans could migrate to the U.S. by 2080 as climate change reduces agricultural production in Mexico, according to a new study being published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. More from the Los Angeles Times.

A Rocky Mountain Low for Colorado's GOP

In the Colorado Governor's race, the GOP is in quite a mess. One candidate, Scott McInnis, was exposed by the Denver Post as a serial plagiarizer; another candidate, Dan Maes, has been fined $17,500 for campaign-finance violations; and the third candidate, technically not a candidate as yet but rather waiting in the wings, is the anti-immigration zealot, former Congressman and Tea Party darling Tommy Tancredo.

Yesterday, Tommy Tancredo announced that he would run on the American Constitution Party ticket unless the two Republican candidates for governor, Scott McInnis and Dan Maes, agree by noon Monday to drop out if they win the primary.

From the Denver Post:

Former GOP Congressman Tom Tancredo issued an ultimatum Thursday to both Republican gubernatorial candidates: Drop out of the race or I will jump in as a third-party candidate.

Tancredo's entry as an American Constitution Party candidate likely would create a GOP implosion, splitting the vote in the general election and handing a win to Democrats.

Campaigns for Dan Maes and Scott McInnis said the Republican candidates intended to remain in the race.

Dick Wadhams, chairman of the Colorado GOP, said that if Tancredo carries through on his threat, he "will be responsible for the election of Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper as governor" and jeopardize other state races.

Tancredo, who said neither GOP candidate could win the general election and would be a "disaster" for those running down the party ticket, gave the two until noon Monday to commit to getting out of the race the day after the primary if polling shows then that the GOP winner is trailing Hickenlooper. If not, he will announce Monday that he is seeking the nomination of the Constitution Party. Colorado Republicans have been weighing their options for November in the wake of plagiarism and ethics allegations that have enveloped Scott McInnis and Dan Maes, respectively. Top party leaders have discussed trying to force the winner of the Aug. 10 primary out of the race so a vacancy committee can appoint a replacement.

It's too late under state rules for Tancredo — best known for his staunch opposition to illegal immigration — or anyone else to run as a GOP primary candidate.

The American Constitution Party was formed in 1991 and was originally called the Colorado Taxpayers Party, but changed its named to the American Constitution Party in 1995. The party is "pro-life, pro-states' rights, pro-Second Amendment" and for limited government, according to its website. It opposes illegal immigration and open borders. The party also believes that the American "republic is a nation governed by a constitution rooted in Biblical law." Funny how they use a lower case c for Constitution but an upper case B for biblical. Pretty much tells you all you need to know. You can see excerpts from its party platform here

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