Welcome to the third edition of the Liberty Ticker! My trip had come up on me much faster than planned, so unfortunately the health care series was delayed. Nevertheless, I do have the first installment in that coming soon. Until then, enjoy some interesting political scoops!
BTW, today is the last day for your donations to count for the campaign finance quarter for your favorite candidates! Candidates need a strong financial showing each quarter to show they can raise the money to win. So give them some support!
Breakthrough (Glen Bradley, R-NC State House)
Glen Bradley, Vice Chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party in North Carolina and a Ron Paul Republican, has had a breakthrough in his race. Early rumors indicate that the incumbent, Democrat Lucy Allen, may be withdrawing from the race because she has accepted an appointment from Governor Perdue in her administration. Of course, this does not mean there will not be a new Democratic opponent. However, this does change the race in two ways- 1) the Democrat will not have the established name recognition of the incumbent and 2) the state GOP may turn to help out in the race a bit more willingly. We will keep you posted on further developments with this story.
Welcome endorsement (BJ Lawson, R-NC-04)
This is a bit unusual in a relatively solid Democratic seat, but it appears that Walter Jones, a Republican congressman in North Carolina, has endorsed BJ Lawson in the Republican Primary in the 4th district for incumbent David Price's seat. Jones is a bit of an iconoclast Republican himself, speaking out against foreign intervention in Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, BJ Lawson is participating in a series of summits on health care reform during the beginining of this month in North Carolina, hosted by GOP physicians running for Congress in that state.
Pre-emptive Strike (Joe Tegerdine, R-MS-04)
It looks like Joe Tegerdine's primary opponent is posturing to claim the states' rights crowd in the district. State Rep. Steven Palazzo has introduced a bill re-affirming Mississippi's sovereignty under the 10th Amendment. This tactic has worked effectively for GOP politicians seeking to win elections, particularly Governor Rick Perry's fierce federalist rhetoric in Texas.
Raking it in (John Dennis, R-CA-08)
John Dennis is attempting to do the impossible: oust Nancy Pelosi from her congressional stronghold in San Francisco. Last year, she wiped out the competition that included independent anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan (17%), Republican Dana Walsh (9%) and Libertarian birther Philip Berg (2%). So it is with this backdrop Dennis has been running against Pelosi.
However, Dennis has been running a very prominent campaign. A poll (of questionable veracity from a relatively unknown firm) puts John Dennis at 22% with low name recognition. This figure is somehow hard to believe. The SF Chronicle notes that Dennis has been exploiting the health care reform package backed by Pelosi to fundraise like crazy. The article notes that around January 1st, Dennis only had $12,000. By the end of this campaign finance quarter (ending today), he is slated to have a whopping $283,000.
Alot of this is because Dennis has done the legwork to get attention. In the past six weeks, he has done over seventy radio interviews in the runup to the health care vote. In addition, he has done the traditional campaigning of knocking on doors and soliciting votes. However, his more socially liberal positions and antiwar attitude has earned him tough competition in a primary with Dana Walsh, the 2008 nominee. She had over $100,000 in the bank before January and is slated to have $1 million at the end of the quarter. With a prominent primary and tea party anger, anything could happen.
9/11 Never Dies (Rand Paul, R-KEN)
The spectre of 9/11 simply will not disappear from Republican politics. Trey Grayson, Rand Paul's establishment opponent for the nod to succeed Jim Bunning in the Republican primary, has released a new ad criticizing Rand on 9/11. It splices together words from Rand, his father Dr. Ron Paul, and Reverend Jeremiah Wright. The effect is to make the theory of blowback appear to be a radical idea, and in effect Rand Paul too. Rand Paul answered back with his own ad accusing Trey Grayson of being dishonest in his manipulation of Paul's position. Grayson stands by the ad, saying it is a legitimate attack on Rand Paul's position on the cause of 9/11.
On the air (Peter Schiff, R-CT)
Peter Schiff, a Republican and investment guru in the race to succeed Chris Dodd has come out with a new ad in the Connecticut Senate race. The interesting thing is that Schiff does NOT mention he is a Republican. The ad buy is $500,000 for two weeks.
Also of note, a Schiff aide has noted the candidate does plan to run in the Republican primary regardless if he has sufficient support at the state convention for his party or not. Maybe that explains the lack of an (R) in the ad...
Rocking Indiana (John Hostettler, R-IN)
John Hostettler's campaign continues to gain momentum in the race to succeed Evan Bayh in the Senate as he hosts townhalls throughout the state. His bid has apparently been bolstered by likely Democratic nominee Brad Ellsworth's yes vote on health care reform last week in reddish Indiana. A new Rasmussen poll stakes Hostettler to a 50-32 lead against Ellsworth, outperforming perceived frontrunner Dan Coats (who leads with 49-34 to Ellsworth).
The wildcards in the primary are numerous: Dan Coats, the former lobbyist, has consolidated the establishment support, Hostettler has the illegal immigration hawks consolidated (he recently received an endorsement from the minutemen and before that Tom Tancredo's PAC), and Marlin Stutzman has South Carolina Senator and arch-conservative Jim Demint's support. Hostettler and Stutzman have significant tea party support but there is also another tea partier in the race. We need a primary poll, stat!
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