Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Specter's switch

The big news from today is Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania has announced that he is switching parties and will now be a Democrat. Specter was first elected to the U.S. Senate as a Republican in 1980 (read the full take on it at the Washington Post).

To me the interesting element of this is the continued loss of moderates and centrists in the Republican party. There are fewer people who identify themselves are Republicans, according to recent polling, than at any point since 1983. At various points in the last decade we have heard prominent Republican moderates complain that they have been poorly treated and many have since left office. Two current Republican Senators, Olympia Snowe and Lindsey Graham echo this sentiment. In the last three years Democrats have seen a resurgence of their own moderate wing of the party, which has helped them in picking up seats in the U.S. House and Senate in 2006 and 2008, particularly in areas where the Republicans had been dominant.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Too much fun to pass up

I awoke this morning to an NPR report that former Gov. Rod Blagojevich wants permission to leave the country (which he has to get due to his current legal situation) to travel to Costa Rica to be on an NBC reality show. I was confused, but clearly not dreaming. MSNBC reports that Blagojevich would be a part of a reality TV show of celebrities dropped in a jungle. They "face fun and comedic challenges designed to test their survival skills" and can be voted out. Mr. Bloagojevich certainly has shown his aptitute for being voted out recently (and this would provide him with a way to pay for his legal defense). There seem to by many Illinois residents that would love to have their former governor dropped in the middle of a jungle.

Fund raising numbers due today

In addition to the fun of Tax Day, today is the day that Federal Election Commission reports and Missouri Ethics Commission reports are due for fund raising. With this being the first quarter of the new campaign cycle, this will be watched closely.

For the U.S. Senate seat in Missouri Robin Carnahan has announced her first quarter numbers, as has Roy Blunt. Carnahan raised just over $1 million, while Blunt raised $542,000. In the Illinois Senate race Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias released his numbers a few days ago, with his total at over $1 million.

In Missouri State Senate races, former Rep. Sam Page (running for Senate district 24) and Rep. Bob Dixon (running for Senate district 30) have released their numbers.

Monday, April 6, 2009

2010 Missouri State Senate Candidates

Missouri has one of the smaller state Senates in the U.S., with its 34 members. Half of those seats will be up for election in 2010 and many of those races will take shape earlier than their counterparts in the state House of Representatives. By my count there are ten state Senators that will be term limited in 2010, which means nearly one third of the state Senate will be open seats in the next election (no incumbent).

The Missouri state Senate seats that will be up for election in 2010 are the even numbered districts. These are the seats that will be open by my count: 6, 8, 14, 20, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34. Has anyone heard who is running for any of these seats, or of anyone considering running (if so, please email me or comment below)?

Updated (6-15-09)

The News Tribune lays out the state of the race for the 6th. The article sees five people actively considering the race. Rep. Mark Bruns (R-113), Rep. Kenny Jones (R-117), and Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce Chairman Harry Otto are in the race and are campaigning. Rep. Bill Deeken (R-114) and Mike Kehoe, a businessman, are considering entering the race. In the 6th Senate District there are four people that have formed campaign finance committees: former Rep. Danie Moore (R), Rep. Bill Deeken (R-114), Harry Otto (R), and Rep. Mark Bruns (R-113).

Speaker Pro Tem, Rep. Bryan Pratt (R-55) has formed a committee for the 8th and has a Facebook page, which lists him as a candidate for the 8th state Senate district. Rep. Dusenberg (R-54) is also considering running for the 8th Senate District.

The 14th has attracted the interest of a few potential candidates. The Beacon Backroom reports that University City Mayor Joe Adams has formed a committee for a run at the seat. The article also points out that it is widely assumed that Rep. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-72) is expected to run for the seat as well. In the 14th Rep. Ted Hoskins (D-80) and Ester Hill Haywood (D), and Joe Adams (D) have formed finance committees.

In the 20th Senate District, David Catanese at KY3 reports that former Rep. Van Kelly (R-144) and Rep. Jay Wasson (R-141) are both seriously looking at running. Rep. Wasson and Rep. Mike Cunningham (R-145) have campaign finance committees for the 20th.

The 24th is shaping up to be a hot spot for 2010. There look to be three or four Democratic candidates lining up to run for the seat. State Rep. Michael Corcoran, former state Rep. Sam Page, and St. Louis County Council member Barbara Fraser look like they will all run for the seat. These three are the subject of a STL P-D article. In addition, state Rep. Jake Zimmerman is also considering entering the race. Page has a website up and running. Corcoran, Fraser, and Page all have committees formed for the race.

One person remarked: "The 26th senate race should be interesting with half the population of Missouri having indicated they are considering." Former state Rep. Jack Jackson (R) is running for state Senate in the 26th. He has a website and a Facebook group. Former Rep. Jackson, Former Rep. Charles Portwood (R), Rep. Brian Nieves (R-98) all have campaign finance committees set up for a 2010 Senate run in the 26th, with Nieves definitely in the race. Franklin County Presiding Commissioner Ed Hillhouse has also said that he is looking at running for the seat as well. While Rep. Allen Icet (R-84) formed a finance committee for this race he will not be running for the 26th, but has launched a bid for state auditor (see Arch City Chronicle).

Rep. Ed Emery (R-126) has announced that he is running in the 28th. His website is up and running and has a press release announcing his 2010 campaign. Rep. Emery, Rep. Tom Self (R-116), and Rep. Larry Wilson (R-119) all have committees for the race.

There is word that Rep. Sara Lampe (D-138) will be running in the 30th. Also, I hear that Rep Bob Dixon (R-140) is running for the 30th as well (he has a committee formed for it). Former Rep. B.J. Marsh (R) has a committee formed for the 30th, but is considering entering the race to replace Roy Blunt in the 7th U.S. Congressional District instead.

Rep. Ron Richard (R-129), the current Speaker of the Missouri House, is running for the state Senate in the 32nd. He has filed a campaign finance committee and has a website.

In the 34th Rep. Rob Schaaf (R-28) and Rep. Jason Brown (R-30) have both formed finance committees for a campaign.

Related Post: Missouri House Races in 2010

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Development breakthrough on WMNs

What I have long feared has come to pass.

While everyone this decade has been focused on WMDs (Weapons of Mass Destruction) the true danger comes from WMNs (Winged Monkey Ninjas). From this photo it appears that winged monkeys may have been developed, but thankfully they have not yet been trained as ninjas.