Showing posts with label election 2010. Show all posts
Showing posts with label election 2010. Show all posts

If you're a Grand Strand Republican with nothing else to do ...

The First Congressional District race is all but over, with Republican Tim Scott rolling towards a landslide win and Democrats broke and divided, turning their guns on each other. Few Democrats are even offering for office in legislative or local races.

So if you're a Republican in the Grand Strand, what is there to do?

We've got a recommendation - Ilario Pantano, a former officer in the Marine Corps and veteran of Iraq - is waging an aggressive campaign for North Carolina's Seventh District, which straddles the South Carolina stateline from South of the Border to North Myrtle Beach. He's made considerable headway in his candidacy, breaking a lead over the incumbent Democrat in recent polling and being added to the "Young Guns" list of targeted NRCC races.

Smells like team spirit

It's always nice when your friends have your back in difficult times:

I think a lot of the House seats we’re going to lose are those who have been the toughest for the Democrats to pull into line — the Democrats that have been the most difficult.

- Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Chair, Energy and Commerce Committee

SCGOP Primary candidate list - Statewide & Congressional

The filings have closed and most races have played out as expected, but a few suprises.

Surprise candidates jumped into the races for US Senate, 2nd and 6th Districts, and Comptroller General, while General Livingston got a free ride for Adjutant General.

Here's who's running for the GOP nomination:

House District 45 GOP primary challenger under fire (again and again)

There's unusual and there is really strange.  In the latter category is the world that York County Council member Paul Lindemann, who seems to be aiming at a primary challenge to GOP State Rep. Deborah Long, seems to live in. 

In 2008, he made national news over his DUI arrest. As the GOP nominee in a heavily-Republican district, he won re-election but was disavowed by many in local Republican circles for a series of run-ins with law enforcement.  He later paid a fine and court-related costs of $1,026.76 for the charge of "driving with unlawful alcohol concentration".

Palmetto State Republicans fuel Mass Hysteria for Scott Brown

With Massachusetts voters going to the polls on Tuesday, the race for the Senate seat once held by Ted Kennedy has devolved into a quagmire for once-confident Democrats. This state, one of the most Democratic in the nation, has become a national battleground as Republican Scott Brown has built a strong coalition behind his Senate candidacy, boasting overwhelming support from Republicans and Independents, as well as many rank-and-file labor union members and Democrats.

National observers have declared the race a toss-up and many polls are showing Brown creeping into the lead in recent days, in spite of a late barrage of vicious and personal attacks by Democrats.

While the Obama team made a last-minute decision to try to salvage the situation with a flurry of last-minute appearances by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton (seeing the Clintons having to come bail Obama’s agenda out is rather ironic), they’re not the only ones rushing to this fight. Numerous South Carolina Republicans are engaging in all-out efforts to support Brown’s surging campaign efforts, including

Dems get desperate in Massachusetts Senate special election

With an increasing number of polls showing a looming upset in next week's Massachusetts Senate special election, the Democrats have stopped ignoring Republican Scott Brown's candidacy and gone on the attack, launching the first negative ad in the campaign:

Brown has remained upbeat, responding with positive response:

Calling Ms. Coakley’s opponent, State Senator Scott Brown, “a Republican in lockstep with Washington Republicans,” the ad flashes photos of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Karl Rove and warns that Mr. Brown favors tax cuts for the wealthy.

Ms. Coakley’s ad seeks to shore up a natural base for her – women voters – and also points to Mr. Brown’s support in 2005 of an amendment to a state bill on emergency contraception that would have let doctors or nurses deny such contraception to rape victims based on religious objections.

The amendment failed, but Mr. Brown ultimately voted for the broader bill, which required emergency rooms to provide rape victims with the morning-after pill.

Mr. Brown’s college-age daughters held a news conference Tuesday to emphasize that he had, in fact, supported the final bill (click here to see the story).

In a new advertisement of his own, Mr. Brown said Ms. Coakley’s “attack ads are wrong and go too far” and hit on his signature theme: Massachusetts needs fresh blood — i.e. a Republican — in Congress.

“I’m running in the name of every independent-thinking voter to take on the political machine and their candidate,” he says in the commercial.

There's probably a good reason why the Boston Herald endorsed Brown over Coakley, telling readers:

If you love what’s going on in Washington, well, then by all means vote for Martha Coakley. She’s a perfectly nice person, and she won’t make a dime’s worth of difference in the balance of power in Washington.

But if you’re not happy with the status quo, if you think the way business is being conducted on Capitol Hill today is a disgrace and an affront to taxpayers, then you probably agree it’s time for a change.

Scott Brown can single-handedly deliver on that kind of change and the Herald is pleased to endorse his candidacy in the race for U.S. Senate.

If you've got friends in Massachusetts, call them and get them out to vote for Scott Brown. Send the Democrats a hell of a wake-up call and don't let these kind of tactics succeed in misleading and scaring voters.

Want to help? The Blogland is encouraging our readers to sign up for his campaign's appeal to make phone calls from home - which you can do from any phone, anywhere. Visit his website - CLICK HERE - to join the team.

Southern legislative battles ahead in 2010 and 2011

With little exception, the political landscape of South Carolina in 2010 is shaping up to be much like 2006: Republicans continue to dominate in the absence of broad Democratic oppositon. Elsewhere across the South, the overall picture is not much different, with the GOP holding the majority of gubernatorial and congressional offices in the region.

While Republicans will likely extend their overall political dominance of the South, recovering ground lost in the last two election cycles, the political fireworks will be rather intense in some areas. In addition to races for a handful of contested U.S. Senate and House seats, desires by both parties to strengthen their hand in the upcoming 2011 reapportionment process will intensify efforts to fight over control of legislative chambers.

One can also expect fireworks as both parties battle for control of Southern legislative chambers.  The GOP holds a slight lead with 13 chambers to 11 for the Democrats.  Going into 2010, five legislative chambers in the South will likely be the focus of considerable efforts to hold them, or upset majorites - three held by Republicans and two by Democrats:

NORTH CAROLINA HOUSE & SENATE: In the 1994, NC Republicans had a great year, taking the House and almost the Senate. They lost the House four years later, and have been on the outs since. The Democrats hold the Senate by six seats (30-20) and the House by nine (68-52). While GOP Presidential candidates have regularly won North Carolina, Republicans in NC have shown the ability to lose a lot of races, having lost four U.S. House seats since the mid-90s, a Senate seat they held since 1972, and haven't held the Governor's office since 1992. To hold on, the Democrats need a good year or for Republicans to - once more - screw up a good opportunity.  Republicans have to get a good year and get smart - not things they're very good at doing.

TENNESSEE HOUSE & SENATE: In 2008, the GOP bucked the national Democratic wave in Tennesse, seizing control of the Senate (19-14) and House (51-48). This state has generally gone for GOP candidates for President since Eisenhower and not gone for a Democratic Senate candidate since the 1980s, as well as seen two incumbent House Dems bail on their seats, so there's a lot to say that the GOP will hold - and probably build - their majority. But there are also a lot of Dems who will be eager to get back on top, and such slender majorities will probably encourage them to give it a shot.

TEXAS HOUSE: Republicans fought against heavily gerrymandered districts for decades and finally toppled Democratic rule in the Texas legislature several years ago, but the Democrats had really good years in 2006 and 2008, closing much of the gap in the Texas House (73D-77R). While Democrats will likely be motivated to snatch up the House, it's not likely 2010 will be the kind of year they need to win control. Expect both sides to go all-out as Democrats seek to take the House and Republicans work to rebuild their once-comfortable majority lead.

Next year, look for Democrats on the defense in all three Deep South states with off-year legislative elections:  both House and Senate in Louisiana (Senate 22D-15R & House 52D-50R-3I), the Mississipi Senate (27D-25R), and the Virigina Senate (21D-19R).

Bill Connor didn't file his campaign disclosure?

Last fall, yours truly got a call from a Bill Connor campaign operative - who didn't identify himself as being one - trying to convince me there was a major ethical crisis because two other Lt. Governor candidates - Ken Ard and Ralph Norman (who later dropped to run for a State House seat) because they had not filed a disclosure.

One has to chuckle at the irony that the latest filing deadline passed with no filing from the Connor campaign. After seeing the initial report on the Palmetto Scoop website, we went to make sure, and as shown in the screen capture from the S.C. Ethics Commission website, no filing from the Connor campaign.

To be fair, we looked and didn't see any filings from the other two candidates - Ken Ard or Tim Scott - either.

Not that we think this is a major problem so early in the campaign, as much of the money raising and spending has yet to take place, but the irony of failing to their own standard on campaign filings is amusing. Especially on a Monday.

GOP takeover of Mass. Senate seat in the making?

The last time the GOP won a Senate race in Massachusetts was 1972. While former GOP Governors Bill Weld and Mitt Romney both waged aggressive challenges for Senate seats in the 1990s, they both lost by double-digit margins.

In the race for the Senate seat vacated by the death of Senator Ted Kennedy, polling by Rasmussen suggests the GOP nomimee, State Senator Scott Brown, is closing the gap with Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley:

A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in the state finds Coakley ahead of Brown 50% to 41%. One percent (1%) prefer some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.

While this polling suggests a closer than usual race, other findings from the survey suggest an upset could be in the making, as many voters seem far more positive about Brown's candidacy:

Both candidates get better than 70% of the vote from members of their respective parties, but Brown leads 65% to 21% among voters not affiliated with either of the major parties ...

Twenty-one percent (21%) of those likely to vote in the special election have a very favorable opinion of Coakley, while 22% have a Very Unfavorable view.

For Brown, the numbers are 25% very favorable and 5% very unfavorable.

... among those who are absolutely certain they will vote, Brown pulls to within two points of Coakley. That suggests a very low turnout will help the Republican and a higher turnout is better for the Democrat.

While election history suggests the Democrats still have the edge, it's worth noting that in one of the bluest states in the nation, the GOP won four of the last five gubernatorial elections, and the one Democrat who won faces bleak prospects for re-election this year.

Considering the major upset scored by the GOP in the recent gubernatorial contest in New Jersey, another tough northeastern state for Republicans where independents broke heavily for the Republican candidate late in the race, it wouldn't be the first upset scored in the region by Republicans.

With numbers suggesting an unusually close race for this Senate seat, don't count out another late upset by the GOP.

(Not surprisingly, the Blogland is pulling for Scott Brown - go visit his website)

Brown retirement re-shuffles 1st CD deck

Last night's news of Congressman Henry Brown's retirement caught South Carolina politicos by surprise. While there were those who wondered if Brown would seek another term after his close race in 2008, initial indications were that he was committed to running

Concerns that Brown was vulnerable to a Democratic upset following his close 2008 race faded as first-tier potential challengers passed on the race and GOP voter enthusiasm rallied. With these fading concerns, several Republicans who had been looking at the race opted to wait for a possible Brown retirement in 2012.

Today's announcment will change the race radically, with a number of established politicos from across the district eyeing entering the race. Based on a number of conversations we've had before and after Brown's announcement, a lot of names have been floated. Here are some of the potential entrants who we feel have the best shots at being competitive for this race:

  • Sen. Chip Campsen, Mount Pleasant: This guy is no stranger to tough races. His first bid for office almost toppled a State House incumbent in 1994, convincing the incumbent to leave, allowing Campsen to take the Mount Pleasant seat unopposed two years later. He left the House, only to come back and oust Sen. John Kuhn in 2004.

  • Rep. Alan Clemmons, Myrtle Beach: Well-known as one of the biggest money-raisers in the State House, he's been in the House since 2002. Well-liked, he's known for being a dynamo in the House and well-visible in the Grand Strand.

  • Rep. Jim Merrill, Daniel Island: In 2000, Merrill ran for, and won, Henry Brown's State House seat and just stepped down as House Majority Leader. As Merrill was one of the architects of Governor Sanford's suprise Congressional win in 1994, he's no stranger to Lowcountry politics. The guy is photogenic, cheerful and knows how to get a message across.

  • Rep. Chip Limehouse, Charleston: Representing downtown Charleston and part of Mt. Pleasant since 1994, Limehouse knows Lowcountry politics well and has built a strong political base in the heart of the 1st District. Many of his friends are regular major donors, and he's shown proven fundraising power in the past.

  • Sen. Luke Rankin, Myrtle Beach: He's been in the Senate since the 90s from Horry County, switching to the GOP several years ago. He has weathered numerous challenges over the years, and he's no slouch at raising money either.

  • Rep. Thad Viers, Myrtle Beach: When District 68 was moved from Sumter County to Horry County in 2002, Viers snatched up the seat. Prior to that, he built up a considerable resume in Grand Strand and statewide politics. Young, single, and with time on his hands, this Myrtle Beach attorney would be a hard worker.
Another factor that could encourage a broader fielding of candidates is a "Consolation Prize" scenario. As it is expected that the First will be split to create a new Seventh District in 2012, a candidate who was able to make a strong second-place finish for the nomination could be a favorite for a bid for the open Seventh in 2012. This scenario would require the 2010 race to be driven largely by a Lowcountry vs. Grand Strand dynamic, and for the second-place finisher to be in the part of this district which did not prevail in such a match.

But if the field of candidates for this seat becomes much larger than the current three in the wake of Brown's announcement, then the chances for a single candidate to become a strong regional favorite aren't good.

Mark Fava's withdrawal from the race on Saturday made it look like a Henry Brown vs. Tumpy Campbell bid, which would have been well-suited since much of Campbell's message was based on running against Brown. Without Brown to run against, Campbell will have two challenges: retool his campaign messages to compete for an open seat, and be ready to compete against some candidates with political resumes and proven vote-getting ability.

The bottom line: this week's race for the First looks nothing like last week's, and one should expect that a lot of big changes are yet to come.

Stay tuned.

Connor's making mountains out of websites

This week, the Connor for Lt. Governor campaign is doing what every campaign does - seeking opportunities to generate earned media publicity for their campaign.

But sometimes, one can go a little too far, as evidenced by their efforts to allege an
Al-Queda hit job on their website, which was recently defaced:

I hate to tell them, but amatuer pranksters and hacker groups carry out mass website defacements all the time. Sometimes it's politics, sometimes ethnic pride, and sometimes just a way to show the level of their talents, since public websites can be viewed, thus allowing them to show the "score".

As the IT and website admin for my company, I know this all too well. Several months ago, they trashed my company’s corporate website – A few days later, it was back online and our host ended up moving to a more secure server.

If you want to read more, Zone-H is a major defacement archive website.

Cotton Boll Conspiracy hits it right on the head, citing

a computer expert contacted by The Associated Press who studied the site says the alterations are similar to those made about 4,500 times elsewhere on the Web.

Ray Dickenson of the technology security firm Authentium also says the alterations do not appear to have any political content in them.

My advice, quit making mountains out of websites (mole hills), and take your web hosting service to task over their server security.

Sean Trende asks "Can the Clinton Coalition Survive Obama?"

In "Can the Clinton Coalition Survive Obama?", posted at Real Clear Politics, Sean Trende considers how voter shifts of 2009 may signal a turning point in the recent growth of Democratic voter support:

John Judis and Ruy Teixeira's well-regarded 2002 work The Emerging Democratic Majority begins with a vignette set in Virginia. They tell the story of a telecom executive named Mark Warner, who runs a moderate campaign that appeals to upper-middle class suburbanites and working class rural voters, and manages to put together a winning coalition that, if imitated in other states, might put the Democrats in power for decades to come.

Given this background, it’s only appropriate that the first tangible sign that this coalition is coming unglued has come in Virginia. Republican Bob McDonnell won the governorship with almost 59% of the vote – the highest percentage (though not the highest victory margin) for any governor since 1961. The entire Republican ticket won by similar margins, and the GOP picked up six seats in the General Assembly. It could have been even worse – five Democrats won their Assembly races by fewer than 1,000 votes.

There are some superficial lessons to be drawn here.

Trende's article, backed with some good voter trend analysis, asks some interesting questions and is worth a read.

Contractors endorse Barrett - or did they?

Working in the construction industry, I received a lot of calls today wanting my take on the endorsement of Gresham Barrett's gubernatorial campaign by the Associated Builders & Contractors of the Carolinas. They wanted to know why the construction industry has chosen sides, and done so this early in the campaign.

My response: "Their endorsement doesn't mean what you think".

This organization is one of several organizations representing organizations and individuals who work in the construction industry. The largest organization is the Carolinas chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), and the American Subcontractors Association Carolinas' chapter (ASAC) is a group with a wide range of contractor membership, mostly from smaller general and specialty contractors.

While ABC of SC is a legitimate organization, by no means do they speak as the single voice of the construction industry in South Carolina. Hence their endorsement should not be considered as Barrett locking up the support of the construction industry.

In the construction industry, we have a lot of issues we're concerned about, including legislative issues such as tort and workers' comp reform, regulatory reform, underground utilities, and taxes. Regardless of the endorsement of ABC of SC, many of us are undecided in this race, and we encourage the candidates for Governor to continue discussing these issues with us.

SCGOP's Virginia Vacation recap

Recently, Palmetto State Republicans joined many others in traveling to Virginia to help push the GOP ticket over the top. They took part in a first-class operation which accomplished a clean sweep of statewide offices and picked up six seats in the Virginia House.

For a state which the Democrats thought they were taking over, it was no small setback.

As shown in this photo, Adam Piper (on the left) was heavily involved in planning the operation, in which the latest in computer techology to develop a winning game plan.

We also want to thank a number of others who took part in this venture, beginning with Sally Atwater, whose husband was Lee Atwater, the famous GOP strategist, as well as these fine folks:

Midlands team: SCGOP Political Director Matt Nichols, SCGOP Deputy Political Director Kurt Pickhardt, Eric Hollander, Nettie Britts, Adrienne Levy, and Rich (no last name, but we know he's from Kershaw).

Upstate team: Adam Piper, Katie Wellborn, Christine Byington, Scott Cox, Summer Harris, Will Sturm, and Chris Godbey.

We understand another team from the College of Charleston also took part, but we don't know who they are as of yet.

A number of these individuals also played a role in the recent "Cherokee Two-fer", where a special election State House pick-up in the Upstate was followed by the neighboring Rep. switching to the GOP. In talking with several GOP operatives, these sort of cost-effective grassroots tactics will be seen more often in the future.

If there's important work to be done, look for this wrecking crew to show up in your neck of the woods.

First District GOP candidates to face each other on Saturday in Goose Creek

Looks like the Berkeley Republican Breakfast club will feature the first head-to-head match of the 1st District GOP congressional candidates on Saturday. Folks, we're not missing this one. It's gonna be a heck of a show!

The Berkeley Republican Breakfast Club will host Republican candidates for the First Congressional District at our November 7th breakfast meeting. Congressman Henry Brown and Carroll Campbell III have confirmed their attendance and Katherine Jenerett is working her schedule. Each candidate will be given five minutes to speak and then questions will be taken from the floor. In addition any other Republican candidate in attendance for office in Berkeley County is always given two minutes to speak prior to our keynote program. Come and question the candidates about issues important to you.

The Berkeley Republican Breakfast meets at 9:00 am the first Saturday of each month at American Legion Post 166, 116 Howe Hall Road, Goose Creek. A great $5 breakfast is served. No membership is required and the public is always welcome to attend.

For more information contact Charles Schuster 509-6027 or Nancy Corbin 688-4975.

South Carolina Republicans kicking tail and raising hell in Virginia

We take you (kind of) live to Fairfax County, Virginia, where Republicans from South Carolina have arrived to help fuel GOP Get-Out-The-Vote efforts:

When Republicans are pushing the vote in northern Virginia, it's a sure sign the Democrats are desperately on the defense going into Tuesday's election. Kudos to Adam Piper, Matt Nichols and others who are taking the fight to the Democrats on their turf for a change!

Transparency - from South Carolina to Michigan

As more proof that Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom was onto something really big with his transparency initiative, we've been informed that the Republican legislative caucuses in both the Michigan House and Senate have inquired with him about his transparency efforts, apparently with the intent of pushing such efforts in their own state.

Being one of those rare blogger sites who like to rely upon real sources we can name, we talked with RJ. Shealy, Eckstrom's spokesman, who confirmed this was true:

Representatives from both the House and Senate Republican caucuses called our office, both saying they wanted to emulate the efforts that we made here in South Carolina. They had apparently read reports where Richard said it could be done for far less effort than previously thought, which is interesting because they said they were running up against the same things Richard ran into here, with critics saying it would be too expensive and take too much time and effort to put together.

We're excited to see others seeing the value of this initiative, including those who are willing to cross partisan and even state lines, and will do all we can to help them with their efforts.

Such developments like this offer more proof that Eckstrom has earned another term in office.

Is the Office of Lt. Governor relevant?

Recent news that Bill Connor, a GOP candidate for Lt. Governor, signed the S.C. Association for Taxpayers' "Taxpayer Protection Pledge", didn't really come as a surprise in the race. Generally Republican office-seekers put their names on these pledges to help boost their appeal to the fiscally-conservative voters who make up a large part of the GOP primary electorate.

It's certainly commendable that Connor would pledge loyalty to fiscally-conservative positions - an act that will probably be duplicated by the other two GOP candidates for the office - but considering the fairly limited powers of the Lieutenant Governor, how much real importance does signing such a pledge have?

In recent years, the power of this office has been reduced considerably. After former Lt. Governor Nick Theodore left office, the Senate removed a number of duties and powers, including the ability to appoint conference committee members. Recent restructuring proposals have sought to make this office co-elected with the Governor and some of those proposals even called for the Lt. Governor to be removed from serving in the Senate at all.

There are two schools of thought with regard to the future of this office:

  • One school argues that the office should be removed from the ballot, possibly even from serving in the Senate entirely. This would reduce the office to a "spare tire" to fill a gubernatorial vacancy.

  • The other school argues that in the Senate, where members represent single-member districts, thus serving localized interests, having a presiding officer who is elected statewide serves to help moderate those influences, further enhancing the chamber's intended mission as the more deliberative body. Many who hold this position would like to see the office retained on the ballot and given more legislative powers.

The Blogland endorses the latter point of view. As none of the three GOP candidates for the office have advocated it's removal from the ballot, as well as argued for the office to be more pro-active in a number of roles, it can be inferred the candidates would, to some degree, agree with this position.

Connor's signing of the SCAT pledge has raised an issue worth asking about the future of this office. It will be interesting to see how much those who want to win this office are willing to talk about it.

Joe Daning's re-election fundraiser packs the house

Special thanks go out to the team effort shown by friends, family and other supporters of Goose Creek State Representative Joe Daning for what was a solid show of support for his fundraising reception for next year's re-election campaign.

With a majority of Lowcountry GOP representatives present for the occasion, the crowd numbered upwards of 100, with a line out the door at several times during the evening. While we weren't opening the envelopes, there were more than a few being dropped in the bowl by attendees. That's never bad for an off-year fundraiser by a freshman legislator.

Joe's two decades of public service to the Lowcountry, as well as hospitality, was greatly appreciated by yours truly. Let's hope this guy gets another well-deserved term in Columbia.

Lowcountry county GOP leaders meet at breakfast forum this Saturday in Summerville

WHEN: Saturday, October 10 at 9:00 a.m.
WHERE: Kelly’s BBQ restaurant, US 78, Summervile
CONTACT: Ron Turner, Chairman
(843) 814-1805

Lowcountry Republicans will gather at Kelly’s BBQ at 9 a.m. this Saturday, October 10. The October meeting will feature a moderating panel discussion with following Lowcountry GOP leaders:

  • Lin Bennett, Chair of the Charleston County Republican Party
  • Tim Callanan, Chair of the Berkeley County Republican Party and member of Berkeley County Council
  • Mac McBride, South Carolina Republican Executive Committee representative from Berkeley County
  • Carroll Duncan, Chair of the Dorchester County Republican Party

After the panel speakers have made their presentations, a moderated Question and Answer session will allow those in the audience to present questions to the speakers.

For the last seven years, this organization has featured monthly meetings which have featured candidates, policy experts and grass-roots Republican party activists who have promoted candidacies and discussed current issues. Combined with “open mike” question-and-answer sessions, the general public has been able to learn about important issues and express their concerns on these issues, as well as grill candidates for public office.

Breakfast is served for $6.50 per attendee, and the general public is cordially invited to attend, regardless of political affiliation.