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Leading Off:

IL-Gov: It's something only a fabulous one-percenter could say: At a candidate forum last month, zillionaire venture capitalist Bruce Rauner announced that he favored "moving the Illinois minimum wage back to the national minimum wage." In other words, he supported lowering the state's minimum wage a dollar, from $8.25 an hour to $7.25, the federal standard. But this week, Rauner received a ton of heat for those clueless remarks after they were newly publicized, and now hew claims he wants to increase the federal minimum wage, even though just a couple of days ago his campaign confirmed that his earlier statements were "accurate." Of course, the Illinois governor has zero input into federal wage laws, so this is just pure CYA.

Indeed, the trackers extraordinaire at American Bridge released some footage to show just how full of it Rauner is:

"I am adamantly, adamantly against raising the minimum wage. My view is we already have the second highest unemployment in America. We already have an outrageously high unemployment rate among low-income, poor minority kids in Chicago, in Rockford, in Peoria and East St. Louis. And raising the minimum wage is just going to blow them out and take away their jobs. We cannot do this."
That's from an August "meet-n-greet breakfast" with the Ford County GOP, held—where else?—at a golf course.

4Q Fundraising:

GA-Sen: Jack Kingston (R): $880,000 raised, $3.4 million cash-on-hand.

IA-Sen: Mark Jacobs (R): $400,000 raised

MN-Sen: Mike McFadden (R): $780,000 raised, $1.7 million cash-on-hand

OR-Sen: Jeff Merkley (D-inc): $1.3 million raised, $3 million cash-on-hand

WI-Gov: Mary Burke (D): $1.8 million raised (including $400,000 in self-funding)

CA-31: Eloise Reyes (D): $302,000 raised

CA-52: Carl DeMaio (R): $370,000 raised

IL-11: Bill Foster (D-inc): $292,000 raised, $800,000 cash-on-hand

MT-AL: Ryan Zinke (R): $447,000 raised, $349,000 cash-on-hand

PA-09: Art Halvorson: $8,700 raised (not a typo), $72,000 cash-on-hand. Check out his great explanation: "We are out door-to-door and we are touching people and voters, and we are buying love with touches and Mr. Shuster's big money doesn't buy love."

Senate:

NM-Sen: Republican businessman Allen Weh, a former state party chair who finished a distant second in the 2010 primary for governor, has announced that he'll challenge Sen. Tom Udall this fall. Weh can self-fund—as The Hill's Cameron Joseph notes, he spent $1.6 million on his failed gubernatorial bid—but unseating Udall will be a daunting task. Daily Kos Elections currently rates this race Safe Democrat.

Gubernatorial:

AZ-Gov: Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, who'd been considering a bid for governor for almost a year, has finally decided to join the GOP field, and he's resigning his current job in order to do so (in accordance with Arizona's "resign to run" laws). Two heavyweight Republicans, Secretary of State Ken Bennett and Treasurer Doug Ducey, are already running, as are several other candidates, though Smith might try to thread a very difficult needle by presenting himself as slightly more moderate on immigration and guns. (He'd need a serious conservative split to have any chance of that.) The winner of the GOP primary will most likely face former Board of Regents chair Fred DuVal in the general election.

CO-Gov: A private poll from Hill Research shows Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper with a surprisingly chipper 54-35 job approval rating, though no horserace head-to-heads are provided. PPP's last poll, from early December, pegged Hick at 45-48, while Quinnipiac had a similar 48-46 in November. Of course, we don't have proper trendlines, so it may just come down to a difference in methodology. But while Hill Research won't say who paid for the poll, it's worth noting that they typically work for Republicans.

CT-Gov: Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton, who formed an exploratory committee last August, has finally made his bid for governor official. Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield and Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti are already in the race, while 2010 nominee Tom Foley and state Sen. Toni Boucher are both still in the exploratory phase. Democratic Gov. Dan Malloy has not yet said whether he'll seek a second term, though it would be very surprising if he did not.

GA-Gov: A strange poll from Insider Advantage has GOP Gov. Nathan Deal leading his likely Democratic opponent, state Sen. Jason Carter, by a 44-22 margin, which obviously leaves a huge number of people undecided. But while Carter's ridiculously small share is probably in large part due to his low name recognition, Deal's 44 is actually identical to what PPP found in their last poll, taken in October for Better Georgia.

House:

IA-03: Former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack, who unsuccessfully challenged Rep. Steve King last cycle, says she won't run for Congress again this year in the state's 3rd District. Rather, she says she's supporting fellow Democrat Staci Appel, a former state senator who had been running since before Rep. Tom Latham announced his retirement and is still the only declared Democrat in the race.

Meanwhile, on the GOP side, Secretary of State Matt Schultz has entered the race, as expected. He joins former Chuck Grassley chief of staff David Young, though many other Republicans are still looking at the race. And note that if no candidate clears 35 percent in the primary, the nomination will get thrown to a convention, something that Iowa Republicans have previously expressed worries about with regard to the Senate race.

MA-09: Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez, who lost last year's special Senate election to Ed Markey, had been talked up as a potential candidate for a variety of races this fall. One of the more plausible ideas was a bid for the House against Democratic Rep. Bill Keating in MA-09, since Gomez actually carried the 9th in his Senate effort. But it's not to be: Gomez says he won't run for any office this year and will instead return to the private sector.

MT-AL: It sounds like state Rep. Elsie Arntzen may join the crowded GOP field hoping to succeed Rep. Steve Daines, who is running for Senate. But a spokesman wouldn't confirm her plans, citing the impending birth of a grandchild this week.

NY-04: The Long Island-centric daily Newsday runs through some possible successors to Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, who just announced her retirement on Wednesday. For Democrats, the paper says that Nassau County Legislature Minority Leader Kevan Abrahams and Nassau County Legislator Dave Denenberg "have already expressed interest," though there are no quotes from either on the record. Meanwhile, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said through a spokesman that now "isn't the time for political decision-making," which means she's not ruling out a bid.

For Republicans, new names include Hempstead Town Supervisor Kate Murray, who is striking a pose similar to Rice's, and Nassau County Legislator Francis Becker, who lost to McCarthy in both 2010 and 2012 but says he's "definitely interested" in a third try. So is attorney Frank Scaturro, who lost last cycle's GOP primary to Becker by 10 points. Undoubtedly we'll hear more from potential candidates in the coming days and weeks.

VA-10: State Sen. Dick Black, who you can think of as the Paul Broun of Northern Virginia, is making it official. As expected, Black has entered the race for retiring Rep. Frank Wolf's House seat, joining Del. Barbara Comstock in the GOP primary. Other Republicans are still considering the race.

Other Races:

AR-LG: The GOP-held Arkansas legislature is moving forward to impeach Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Darr over campaign finance and government spending violations. It seems that pretty much everyone in Arkansas politics, Republicans and Democrats alike, is calling on Darr to resign, but he's refusing to go, so the machinery for forcibly removing him from office—which hasn't been used in 140 years—is cranking into gear. A number of procedural questions need to be worked out, but invariably, they will be, so it's only a matter of time for Darr.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 05:00 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Rauner conveniently ignores... (8+ / 0-)

    ...that if it weren't for his Republican Party and their constant opposition to any raise ever of the federal minimum wage, the federal minimum would have been constantly raised for inflation over the years, and at least 2 or 3 dollars over what it is today, and states wouldn't need to be going it alone on this.

    But for the GOPers, NOW is never the time to raise the minimum wage. If we are in the bottom of a recession, they say now is not the time, it will drive us down deeper. If we are recovering from a recession, they will tell us now is not the time, it will hurt the recovery. If the economy is flying high, they will tell us that now is not the time, because it will kill the goose that laid the golden egg.

    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

    by RhodeIslandAspie on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 06:41:15 AM PST

  •  Rauner should take his show in the road... (6+ / 0-)

    to places like East St. Louis and the West Side of Chicago and to Rockford. He should go right to the heart of poverty and explain to the marginally employed and subsistence survivors just how important it is for them to have lower wages. I think they'd all understand his point of view... and they'd tell him so... just before they'd string him up.

  •  There is a certain logic to it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    Illinois is a mess, there's no debating that, at least not truthfully.

    And...I suppose it wouldn't hurt if the Illinois minimum wage were the same as the federal.  Might help with some employers.

    Don't know.

    The real argument is that the federal minimum wage needs to be higher, so that states don't feel compelled to create their own local minima.

    Beyond that, we will always have the problem of some places being more expensive to live and operate and thus requiring more money.  Illinois is one of those places.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 06:56:47 AM PST

  •  Forget the unemployment (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, terjeanderson

    Rate look at the number of people living in poverty Illinois is at number 24 with 11.5% of people living in poverty. United States national average 12.6%.
         It helps having a slightly higher minimum wage so that when people do get a job they don't need to go on welfare.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/...

  •  Bruce Rauner is a (6+ / 0-)

    total asshole. He doesn't stand a chance of being elected in my state. His ads are running continuously on the TV, but convincing no one. Yes, Illinois has a financial mess, but Rauner's solution would be to turn us into Mississippi, which would suit him fine.

    Republicans want smaller gov't for the same reason crooks want fewer cops. - James Carville Support Small Business: Shop Kos Katalogue

    by wyckoff on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 07:02:15 AM PST

  •  It would be more interesting to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    terjeanderson

    compare the states with the highest and lowest minimum wages and the number of people in poverty.

    •  Hard to account for differences in living costs (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slothlax

      especially housing. Standard poverty measurements don't vary whether a two-bedroom apartment costs $400 or $2,000. If you're in a high-rent area (NYC, Boston, DC), you can be earning a higher wage and still earn too little to afford rent -- so you're homeless, which in my definition means "poor."

      The unemployment rate matters too. Here in RI we have a relatively high minimum wage, but also high unemployment (second highest in the country? something like that). For that 11% of the population, the minimum wage doesn't matter because they're not getting it anyway.

  •  I love Rauner's CYA move for the complete (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    transparent idiocy of it:

    Now he is for raising the minimum wage.  He just thinks the decision to raise it should be in the hands of the most ineffective Congress ever and the wage levels should be the same no matter what state you're in.  

    Let him release the tapes of him calling members of Congress demanding they raise the minimum wage.

    And he just happens to think the Governor of the state  shouldn't have to do something to help the working poor, a significant part of his own constituency.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 07:34:01 AM PST

  •  Filthy Rich Oligarchs Love Unpaid Lifelong Interns (0+ / 0-)

    because they are cheaper than slaves -- they don't have to pay minimum wages or supply room and board to their workers.

  •  Talking about "poor minority kids" not working (0+ / 0-)

    While at the golf course.  Can't help but be reminded of Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn's ditty:

    The golf links lie so near the mill
    That almost every day
    The laboring children can look out
    And see the men at play.
  •  As Bugs Bunny would say what a Maroon (0+ / 0-)

    I prefer moron, personally. Decreasing the minimum wage, is never going to happen, the pressure is on to RAISE the Minimum wage. really Illinois's minimum probably should be 12-13 dollars -indexed to inflation, a dollar or so above the fed minimum. you index it to inflation, perhaps with an added kicker of say 10 cents so that minimum workers get to do more than just tread water. so inflation plus 10 cents. right now inflation is about 1.5, so lets say the adjustment is 9 cents, with the kicker its 19.

  •  InsiderAdvantage has a history of strange polls (0+ / 0-)

    One of the worst pollsters out there.

    Visit Delaware Liberal, biggest and best blog in Delaware, and one of the finest state blogs in the nation.

    by XStryker on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 11:44:35 AM PST

  •  NY-04 - Kate Murray (R) would be a threat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slothlax

    The Township of Hempstead is roughly the size of San Francisco in terms of population, and so far as I've seen when visiting, Murray is very popular and skilled at getting her name attached to things like festivals. If Murray runs, I'd call this race a tossup. The redistricting put a lot of Peter King voters in this district, and Murray is the sort of pleasant Republican that Nassau county voters will pull the lever for.

    Visit Delaware Liberal, biggest and best blog in Delaware, and one of the finest state blogs in the nation.

    by XStryker on Fri Jan 10, 2014 at 11:51:49 AM PST

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