9:27 AM PT: NE-Gov: In a rare foray into the political world, legendary investor Warren Buffett has endorsed Democrat Chuck Hassebrook in his bid to become Nebraska's next governor and also donated $100,000 to the cause. Buffett, known as the "Wizard of Omaha," is the second-richest person in the country, but he's long supported more progressive tax rates, even proposing a tax-hike plan on the ultra-wealthy that came to be called the "Buffett Rule." (Buffett also backed Barack Obama for president.) Hassebrook faces wealthy Republican businessman Pete Ricketts in November.
10:17 AM PT: NJ-Gov: As Jeff Smith predicted long ago, Chris Christie's legal troubles were only going to grow once prosecutors started digging their claws into Bridgegate, and indeed, they've managed to unearth a second bridge-related scandal. A new report in the New York Times says that Christie's administration pushed the Port Authority to impermissibly redirect money from a trans-Hudson rail tunnel project he obnoxiously cancelled back in 2010 and toward repairing a causeway that connects Jersey City and Newark called the Pulaski Skyway.
The authority said it had no legal right to do so, but they caved after endless Christie badgering that relied on laugh-out-loud justifications. (They called it the "Lincoln Tunnel Access Infrastructure Improvements" project. Uh, no.) Now investigators at the Manhattan district attorney's office and the SEC may bring civil and criminal charges against those involved, for misleading Port Authority bondholders. There's no word on how high this goes, but as Smith says, if Christie aides want to avoid jail time for this or any other wrongdoing, they're going to have a serious incentive to point a finger upward.
10:33 AM PT: FL-Gov: WFLA-TV sure seems to love paying for polls, because they've just released their fourth set of numbers from SurveyUSA in the last two months. The changes from poll to poll have mostly been noise, with Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist trading places every time. Now it's Scott's turn to nose back out front, with a 42-41 edge, compared to a 44-40 Crist lead in early June.
Meanwhile, the Florida Chamber of Commerce (which of course favors Scott) also has a poll of their own, from Cherry Communications. Scott holds a 41-38 advantage, while Libertarian Adrian Wylie takes 4 percent, which is somewhat low compared to the outsize vote shares a lot of Libertarian candidates have been pulling down lately.
1:20 PM PT: AZ-Gov: Citing poor fundraising, state Sen. Al Melvin has dropped out of Arizona's Republican gubernatorial primary. That leaves six others still vying for the nod: state Treasurer Doug Ducey, former Go Daddy executive Christine Jones, former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith, Secretary of State Ken Bennett, former Rep. Frank Riggs (who represented a seat in California), and former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas. Former Arizona Board of Regents member Fred DuVal is the lone Democrat running. The primary is Aug. 26.
1:22 PM PT (David Jarman): FL-Gov: Here's one of the challenges that Scott faces in maintaining his lead, though (and, if the trend continues, that future Florida Republicans will face even more). Pew Research takes a look at voter registration among Cuban-Americans, and finds it's moving remarkably quickly in the Democrats' direction thanks to generational change. In 2002, Cubans split 64 percent R/22 percent D in their registration; that changed to 57 R/35 D in 2006 and now just 47 R/44 D in 2013. Those numbers appear to refer to all Cuban-Americans nationwide, but seven of ten Cuban-Americans are in Florida. (If you want to see how that translates to actual votes, recall that Al Gore got 53% in Miami-Dade County in 2000, while Barack Obama got 62% in that same county in 2012.)
1:49 PM PT: MI-04: Retiring Rep. Dave Camp has endorsed state Sen. John Moolenaar as his preferred choice to succeed him in Congress. Moolenaar already had the establishment mantle, but he faces two businessmen in the Aug. 5 GOP primary, Paul Mitchell and Peter Konetchy. Camp decided to quit not that long ago, so no one's yet filed fundraising reports, and there hasn't been any polling. However, whoever wins the Republican nomination will be the heavy favorite in the general election in this red district.
2:36 PM PT (Darth Jeff): Ads:
• MN-Sen: Sen. Al Frankin promotes his work fighting Wall Street corruption.
• NM-Gov: The RGA has a Spanish language ad hitting Democratic nominee Gary King.