April 23, 2014

Why Government Fails So Often

A fascinating new book: Why Government Fails So Often: And How It Can Do Better by Peter Schuck.

Extra Bonus Quote of the Day

"We can't be against everything. We've got to have a forward-looking program, whether it's immigration, or foreign policy, or education."

-- Bob Dole, in an interview with Politico, on the Republican party.

On Wonk Wire

Some great clicks over at Wonk Wire:

Walker Holds Small Lead in Wisconsin

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Wisconsin finds Gov. Scott Walker (R) leading challenger Mary Burke (D) by just three points, 48% to 45%.

Key finding: "Burke's increased support is likely a function of her name recognition increasing significantly over the last seven months. In September only 39% of voters had an opinion about her but that has spiked to 71% with voters pretty evenly split on her- 36% rate her favorably, 35% unfavorably."

Bonus Quote of the Day

"Ideological people don't give you a whole lot of money."

-- Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), quoted by Politico.

Florida Lawmaker Arrested for DUI

Florida state Rep. Dane Eagle (R), who argued just last month that elected officials need to be "held to a higher standard," was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving, the Huffington Post reports.

Landrieu Aggressively Defends Obamacare

Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) told Greg Sargent she would campaign aggressively against challenger Bill Cassidy's (R) opposition to the Medicaid expansion in her state and "offered a spirited defense" of the Affordable Care Act.

Said Landrieu: "It's a solid law that needs improvement. My opponent offers nothing but repeal, repeal, and repeal. And even with all the law's setbacks, we're seeing benefits for thousands of people in Louisiana."

She added: "I think the benefits that people have received are worth fighting for."

Wonk Wire: Obamacare's Medicaid expansion a great deal for states

Hickenlooper Leads All Challengers

A new Quinnipiac poll in Colorado finds that margins of 19 percentage points or more among women, and smaller margins among independent voters keep Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) ahead of all of his possible Republican challengers.

Candidate Attacked for Link to Weather Underground

New Mexico Republicans ripped into gubernatorial candidate Alan Webber (D) for accepting the endorsement of former Weather Underground co-founder Mark Rudd and attending a recent fundraiser at the home of Rudd and his wife, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports.

GOP Candidate Urges Parents to Pull Kids Out of School

South Carolina lieutenant governor candidate Ray Moore (R) said that Christian parents should pull their children out of the "godless" and "pagan" public school system, the Huffington Post reports.

Said Moore: "We cannot win this war we're in as long as we keep handing our children over to the enemy to educate."

He added: "It cannot be fixed, the socialistic model, and we need to abandon that. As conservatives and Christians, if you think you're going to win this war you're in, and leave your children in those schools, it will not happen."

Southern Senate Races Remain Close

The New York Times/Kaiser Family Foundation polled four key Senate races in the South:

Arkansas: Sen. Mark Pryor (D) 46%, Tom Cotton (R) 36%

Kentucky: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) 44%, Alison Lundergran Grimes (D) 43%

Louisiana: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) 42%, Bill Cassidy (R) 18%

North Carolina: Sen. Kay Hagan (D) 42%, Thom Tillis (R) 40%

The Upshot: "The survey underscores a favorable political environment over all for Republicans in Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisiana and Arkansas -- states President Obama lost in 2012 and where his disapproval rating runs as high as 60 percent. But it also shows how circumstances in each state are keeping them in play for the Democrats a little more than six months before the midterm elections."

Quote of the Day

"I thought I was a conservative, but we've got some in Congress now who are so far right they're about to fall out of the Capitol."

-- Former Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS), quoted by the Washington Post.

Scottish Independence Poll Tracker

With the referendum less than six months away, the Financial Times finds more voters currently opposed to Scotland breaking away from the United Kingdom, 46% to 39%.

Perry Wants to Debate Cuomo

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) "is looking to brush up on his debate skills" with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), ABC News reports.

Said Perry: "A debate between the governors of two of the largest states in the country on policy issues such as taxes, government spending, education, regulations and legal reform would be beneficial to our states and our country as a whole."

Perry is in New York seeking to lure New York companies to Texas.

Missouri Republicans Seek to Impeach Governor

"A Missouri state House committee will hold hearings Wednesday into three proposed articles of impeachment against Gov. Jay Nixon (D), whom some Republicans say has committed offenses worthy of being removed from office," the Washington Post reports.

GOP Field in North Carolina Says Climate Change Is Not Fact

"Fittingly, all four Republican candidates in the North Carolina Senate race were asked on Earth Day if they believed climate change is a proven fact. And all four candidates said 'no.'" TPM reports.

"The answer is the latest example of how the field has taken steps to out flank each other on the right as they vie for the nomination to face Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) in the general election, which is roughly a month away."

April 22, 2014

Cuomo Holds Landslide Lead

A new SIena poll in New York finds Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) crushing Rob Astorino (R) in the race for governor, 58% to 28%.

Self-Funder Wins Primary to Replace Radel

Curt Clawson (R) won the Republican nomination in the Florida special-election race to replace former Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) -- "and he is now likely to be the district's next member of Congress," Roll Call reports.

"The tea party will likely claim credit for the win. Clawson overtly aligned himself with the conservative base of the party, but he also broke from the crowd thanks to his own self-funding. He loaned his campaign $2.65 million, according to his pre-primary Federal Election Report."

On Wonk Wire

Some great clicks over at Wonk Wire:

Quote of the Day

"If I was Tom and I was looking for some excitement, I wouldn't run as an independent for governor in a Republican state. He'd be better off if he bought a new sports car and got a girlfriend and got it out of his system."

-- Former South Carolina GOP Chairman Katon Dawson, quoted by CNN, on Tom Ervin joining the gubernatorial race.

Unnamed Lawmaker Under Investigation

An unnamed House member is under investigation by the House Ethics Committee, Roll Call reports.

"According to the three-page OCE quarterly report, which disclosed no member names, the Ethics Committee will release the name of a new member under investigation no later than Sunday -- meaning the announcement will likely come by Friday."

GOP Voters Overwhelmingly Opposed to Gay Marriage

A new American Values/Family Research Council survey of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents finds that 82% said they agree that marriage should be confined as being only between a man and a woman and that 75% "completely disagreed" that officials should be working to redefine marriage to include same-sex couples.

Missouri Mayor Quits Before Impeachment

Marionville, Missouri Mayor Dan Clevenger "resigned Monday night for making anti-Semitic comments in the wake of the arrest of white supremacist Frazier Glenn Miller and after aldermen voted 4-1 to start the impeachment process," the Springfield News-Leader reports.

How Senate Forecasts Compare

The New York Times has a very nice comparison chart of the forecasts made by the top election handicappers.

Romney Donates to McDonnell Legal Defense Fund

Mitt Romney "has made a personal donation of $10,000 to former Virginia governor Robert F. McDonnell's legal defense fund," the Washington Post reports.

"McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were indicted in January on federal charges of bribery and fraud involving their relationship with a prominent Virginia businessman and campaign donor. The McDonnells are scheduled to face trial in July."

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