12:14 PM PT: CT-Sen: It's almost comical to see a candidate flail in such soulless fashion. After getting lacerated over her support for a "sunset provision" for the Social Security program, Linda McMahon's taken a huge beating over entitlements in general. Remarkably, she's doubled down on her prior statements, and now she offers this nihilistic approach to Medicare (via a campaign spokesman):
For Medicare, Abrajano said, "Linda McMahon believes that all options should be on the table although she is not specifically supporting any of them."I support everything—and nothing!
12:20 PM PT: AZ-Sen: The other week, a rumor surfaced about a sketchy, nameless Republican poll out of Arizona showing the Senate race remarkably close. Now, we have an actual Republican poll (courtesy Moore Information)... showing the Senate race very close. GOP Rep. Jeff Flake leads Democrat Richard Carmona 43-40, a spread similar to what we've seen in other public polling. The presidential toplines seem very optimistic, though, with Mitt Romney only beating Barack Obama by a 46-42 margin.
"I've expressed this to Todd as my client for a while now, I've expressed it to him directly," conservative consultant Kellyanne Conway said today on a radio show with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council. "The first day or two where it was like the Waco with the David Koresh situation where they're trying to smoke him out with the SWAT teams and the helicopters and the bad Nancy Sinatra records. Then here comes day two and you realize the guy's not coming out of the bunker. Listen, Todd has shown his principle to the voters."Oddly enough, Kellyanne Conway is probably not the only person who thinks there's a resemblance between Todd Akin and David Koresh. I realize it's sort of cheating to rely on a consultant, though, for the "Todd Akin says something idiotic" watch, but don't worry, we've still got something directly from the
Akin also defended his characterization of Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill as not being "ladylike" in a recent debate, saying he used the term "just as the English language uses those terms." [...]
"We've got a couple words in the English language, one is a gentleman and a lady," Akin said Friday. "I think those are pretty self-explanatory terms, and I was using them just as the English language uses those terms. So you know it seems that some people want to take offense at words. It seems to me the offensive thing is the voting record that's destructive to the people of our state."
12:32 PM PT: Chamber of Commerce: Yikes. According to a report in The Hotline, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching a $3.3 million television ad assault across ten different California House districts. Reid Wilson has the details on the size of each buy at the link.
12:40 PM PT: Dark Money: At least if you're going to get accused of taking money from George Soros, it would help if he actually gave you some, right? The billionaire philanthropist and erstwhile Democratic donor is finally getting back into the dark money game this cycle, after appearing to lose interest in electoral politics for a while. He's donating half a million to Majority PAC and House Majority PAC, the two most important Democratic outside spending groups in Senate and House races respectively (aside from the official party committees). On top of that, he's giving $1 million to Priorities USA Action, the main pro-Obama super PAC. And based on the New York Times's report, it sounds like Soros's contributions might also encourage other richie riches to follow suit.
12:51 PM PT: WV-Gov: Buried in a long piece on gubernatorial races in general, Dave Catanese notes that the DGA has "just reserved" $2.6 million in TV airtime to help Dem Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin. That might seem like a surprising development, since Tomblin's held healthy leads in what little public polling we've seen, and it's hard to imagine businessman Bill Maloney doing better this time around than he did in last year's special election. But you'll recall that the RGA, oddly enough, has been propping up Maloney—very possibly only to demonstrate that they keep promises to their recruits, even if they aren't particularly sanguine about their chances. (Think Bob Kerrey and his super PAC money.) Regardless of the RGA's motivations, the DGA probably just wants to play it safe here and make sure this race stays off the table.
1:19 PM PT: Ah. Now I think we know why Heinrich released that internal poll. Wilson just dropped one of her own (from Public Opinion Strategies), purporting to show this a one-point race. POS has Heinrich leading just 43-42, with "American Party" candidate Jon Barrie taking an improbably 9 percent. I can understand why Wilson is doing this, even though her numbers look nothing like any others: She has almost no time left to somehow convince donors and power brokers that she can still win this race. But I just don't think you can con the NRSC this way.
1:53 PM PT: ME-Sen: I'm utterly unsurprised to see this: The DSCC is jumping into Maine with a $410K ad buy—a pretty hefty sum for a very tiny state. The ads aren't pro-Angus King, which would be a dicey thing given that King, of course, is still refusing to say he'll caucus with Democrats. Rather, the DS is going after Republican Charlie Summers, since King himself seems to be incapable of doing so.
2:48 PM PT: Ads: It's your Friday ad dump:
• MA-Sen: Scott Brown (R)
• MT-Sen: Denny Rehberg (R)
• MT-Sen: NRSC (R)
• ND-Sen: Patriot Majority (D)
• ND-Sen: Rick Berg (R)
• ND-Sen: NRSC (R)
• NV-Sen: Patriot Majority (D)
• OH-Sen: Sherrod Brown (D)
• VA-Sen: DSCC (D)
• WI-Sen: Tommy Thompson (R)
2:50 PM PT: Ads:
• NC-Gov: RGA (R)
3:02 PM PT: Ads:
• AZ-01: American Future Fund (R)
• AZ-01: American Future Fund (R)
• CA-10: House Majority PAC (D) (in Spanish; transcript)
• CO-07: Joe Coors (R)
• IA-03: DCCC (D)
• IA-04: Humane Society (D)
• MD-06: John Delaney (D)
• MN-08: American Action Network (R)
• OH-06: Charlie Wilson (D)
• PA-08: Mike Fitzpatrick (R)
• PA-18: Tim Murphy (R) (first ad)
• TX-14: Randy Weber (R)
• VA-02: Paul Hirschbiel (D)
3:20 PM PT: FL-18: Ugh. Allen West goes ultra-nasty in his latest ad, comparing the moment before he deployed to Iraq in 2003 with a drunken bar brawl that led to an arrest for his Democratic opponent, Patrick Murphy, at the same time. Considering this was a decade ago and Murphy was still a teenager (!), that's a dirty place to go, but pretty predictable for politics. (Murphy's acknowledged the incident before, calling it the "biggest mistake of my life"—though all charges were dropped.) Murphy's campaign fired back by pointing out that 2003 wasn't exactly a high point in West's life either:
The Murphy campaign quickly pointed out in a statement to Roll Call that West was fined $5,000 in December 2003 for an incident earlier that year involving the interrogation of an Iraqi policeman who he thought was planning his assassination. West threatened to kill the policemen and fired a gun near his head as an interrogation tactic. Then he was forced to retire.Meanwhile, the House Majority PAC just launched a new assault of its own on Murphy's behalf. Their ad finally does what you'd want—almost—by deploying a series of clips of West saying a bunch of different lunatic things, as is his wont. But at the end, for some reason, they flash a mention of tax liens on the screen (just text), the same boring issue that seemed to get zero traction for Democrat Ron Klein when he lost his seat to West two years ago. HMP says it's "now increased its TV buy in this district to over $1.5 million."
3:26 PM PT: NY-19: Could that Siena poll showing the GOP dominant in the 19th have been just plain wrong? The DCCC's now released their second ad here, attacking GOP Rep. Chris Gibson over the Ryan plan and atta-boy'ing Democrat Julian Schreibman for supporting an end to the "Bush tax cuts for the wealthy." Meanwhile, Crossroads GPS is also out with their expected ad, telling the standard Medicare-related lies about Schreibman.
3:33 PM PT: IL-13: Democrat David Gill continues his run of authentic, personal ads, this time talking about the death of his wife just a few years ago. Gravely ill, she was airlifted to a hospital in St. Louis; not long before she died, Gill received a $17,000 bill from the insurance company, which refused to pay for the medevac flight. Says Gill: "It's absolutely shameful that here in America, while you're planning a funeral, you're also being faced with an insurance company coming down on you. And I think that we can do a whole lot better than that."
3:37 PM PT: The Chamber is also deploying their ads in IL-10 and IL-13. Not only are they really crappily produced, but they also all start out the same way, featuring a whiny businesswoman complaining she can't expand her company because of tax and regulatory uncertainty... who just happens to be from Minnesota. They seriously couldn't find someone from California or Illinois?