The State Houses – What’s At Stake in 2010

Thirty-nine states will be electing a governor during the 2009-2010 election cycle. Of these, eighteen races will not include an incumbent and four incumbents who will be running were not elected to their current position. The recession and huge budget deficits threaten to undercut the power of incumbency for governors running for reelection.

The Current Line-Up

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Archive for Arizona

Democrat Terry Goddard’s newest TeeVee ad really goes after Gov. Jan Brewer’s connections to the owners of private prisons doing business in the state.

The private prison profiteers have a direct line to “Brewer for Governor,” Goddard’s camp claims in the ad.

Goddard wants to undercut Brewer’s law-and-order creds by linking her to the violent prison break earlier this summer. The story of convicts who went on a deadly rampage across the Interior West garnered national headlines.  Goddard would like it to become a central issue in the governor’s race.

Goddard’s effort might persuade voters who respond to reality-based arguments, but it’s unlikely to convince  voters who have Brewer-induced nightmares of  beheaded bodies littering the Arizona desert and rampaging gangs of illegal immigrants pillaging the cities and towns.

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Accidental Governor Jan Brewer’s abysmal and uncomfortable to watch debate performance from a few weeks ago has now become a series of campaign ads for Democratic challenger AG Terry Goddard.

“Is this the best Arizona can do?” is a powerful tag line that undermines Brewer’s claims to competent leadership. The ads use tape of Brewer mumbling incoherently interspersed into a narrative about the real problems facing Arizona.

The governor’s own words make her look clueless.

Two of the ads take on issues Brewer has made the foundation of her campaign – security and the economy (and smartly avoids the red-hot immigration issue that has propelled Brewer to national prominence.) The third ad takes on her ‘mis-statement’ about beheadings in the desert.

In the security ad, Goddard’s camp highlights the recent prison break from a private prison in Arizona and the links between Brewer’s campaign and the private prison industry. Simply because Jan Brewer says you’re safer doesn’t make it so.

On the economic ad, Brewer is left speechless in response to a litany of bad economic news. It challenges her debate assertion that “Arizona has been brought back from the abyss” and wonders what it is that Jan has done.

“We have, uhm, did what was right for Arizona,” simply doesn’t cut it.

And about that little white lie about the beheadings besieging the state? Goddard’s campaign can’t resist. Nor should they.

Categories : AdMonitor, Arizona
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Sep
10

Guber Quick Hits, TGIF 9/10/10

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Arizona: One of the conditions for qualifying for Clean Elections campaign financing under Arizona law is participating in a Clean Elections-sponsored debate. After showing up (at least in body) and receiving her $1.7 million-plus check, Gov. Jan Brewer has decided she can’t risk this again. Turns out there are a lot of other GOP candidates following Brewer’s lead.

California: As the Golden State’s annual budget delay dance stretches toward record-setting territory, the state Controller has announced the state won’t have to start issuing IOUs until early October, which is later than previous estimates. Not sure if this is good news or bad news, as some observers believe IOUs would’ve stepped up the pressure on the legislature to finally get a deal done.

Colorado: The sinking ship that is GOP guber nominee Dan Maes’ campaign lost another deckhand this week when the volunteer campaign treasurer- who had been on board for just three weeks – resigned. The official reason Bob Balink jumped ship was because the commute was too long.

Connecticut: Mitt Romney joined fellow millionaire Tom Foley on the campaign trail in tony Greenwich.

Hawaii: The largest public worker union in the state is trying to explain the controversial decision to back Mufi Hannemann over Neil Abercrombie in the Democratic guber primary.

Massachusetts: A ‘furious exchange’ over the state’s role in rescuing health insurance company Pilgrim Health exploded during this week’s gubernatorial debate. Gov. Deval Patrick asserted that Baker – who ran Pilgrim at the time – was rescued thanks to state aid. Baker denied the governor’s version of history. Turns out it depends on what you mean by state aid. According to a local taxpayer watchdog group, no taxpayer money was used in reversing the fortunes of the health insurer, but the state did play a central role in helping make sure the company didn’t fail.

Pennsylvania: The Republican Governor’s Association moved $1.5 million from its Wisconsin PAC to its Pennsylvania PAC in July. It’s an intriguing move, considering both seats are widely viewed as strong pick-up opportunities for the GOP.

Rhode Island: Could news that Democratic guber wannabe Frank Caprio contemplated switching parties last winter as he prepared for his campaign push Democratic voters into independent Linc Chafee’s camp come this November?

Texas: Despite numerous denials he’s got his eyes on the White House, Gov. Rick Perry’s new book Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington will be published right after the midterm elections (and Perry hopes his own record-setting reelection).

Vermont: The Democratic Party has filed a campaign finance complaint against Brian Dubie and the RGA, claiming they illegally coordinated to create a television ad supporting Dubie’s gubernatorial campaign.

Aug
14

Guber Quick Hits, Sat 8/14/10

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Arizona: Democrat Terry Goddard is spending his Clean Elections grant for the primary at a much slower pace than his Republican counterpart, Jan Brewer.

Iowa: Former Des Moines School Board member Jonathan Narcisse – who flirted with running in the Democratic primary against Gov. Chet Culver – reports he’s gathered the required signatures to qualify for the ballot as an independent.

Iowa II: Campaigning like it’s 1982. Embattled Democratic Gov. Chet Culver, trailing former GOP Gov. Terry Branstad by large margins in every publicly released poll of the contest, has turned to his father – a former US Senator – to help him on the campaign trail.

Maine: Talk about party unity. Democratic guber nominee Libby Mitchell has enlisted the support of her former primary foes to head her policy committees.

Maryland: Former Gov. Bob Ehrlich has proposed a series of five debates (three on the radio, two on the TeeVee) against Democratic incumbent Martin O’Malley. O’Malley, clearly hoping to elevate the profile of long-shot candidate Brian Murphy,  says he’s happy to debate the Republican nominee  - once the GOP primary determines a winner.

Texas: Rick Perry has steadfastly refused to debate Democratic challenger Bill White until White releases every scintilla of his personal financial and tax information. Now, he’s announced he won’t meet with any Lone Star State editorial boards prior to the election.

Wyoming: Matt Mead has invested nearly $900K of his own money in his effort to win the GOP guber nod in the Cowboy State. That’s a huge sum in the nation’s least populous state, where a closely contested primary victory could require less than 50,000 votes.

Jul
26

Guber Quick Hits, Mon 7/26/10

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Arizona: The Arizona Fraternal Order of Police has officially endorsed Jan Brewer’s GOP guber bid.

Florida: Rumors from the Sunshine State’s turbulent guber campaign trail have former candidate Paula Dockery joining Rick Scott’s ticket as his Light Guv dance partner.

Georgia: Add Roy Barnes to the growing list of Democratic guber wannabes who is avoiding public appearances with President Obama.

Georgia II: The National Rifle Association endorsed former Rep. Nathan Deal in his GOP guber run-off against one of Sarah Palin’s Mama Grizzlies, Karen Handel.

Kansas: Sen. Sam Brownback has raised over $2 million for his gubernatorial campaign.

Minnesota: DFL-endorsed guber wannabe Margaret Anderson Kelliher has reported raising just under $1 million during 2010. She’s got $385K in the bank for the primary contest’s closing days. Both Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza, the two other DFL candidates are self-funding their candidacies and are likely to each pour more than that into advertising and GOTV efforts.

South Carolina: Despite Democratic nominee Vincent Sheheen’s release of ten years worth of tax returns, Republican Nikki Haley wants to know more, charging that Sheheen is “still engaged in a smokescreen and keeping the public in the dark.”

Jul
24

Pollapalooza Saturday

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Arizona: Accidental Governor Jan Brewer continues her demagoguing ways straight to a gubernatorial victory  in her own right. A survey from  Razzmattazz Reports that Brewer has opened nearly a 20-point lead over AG Terry Goddard who has seen his chances of winning the governor’s office slip as the governor’s national profile has risen as she’s become the GOP’s barricade the borders leader. (Polling conducted 7/21, 500 AZ Likely Voters, MoE +/- 4.5%)

Florida: While it’s not exactly a poll of the guber contest, it may have implications if Bud Chiles’ third party bid begins to gain traction. According to RazzleDazzle, 41% of Floridians are more likely to vote for an Independent this fall.

Rhode Island: Now that the Democrats have a presumptive nominee in Frank Caprio after Patrick Lynch abandoned his guber bid, RazzleDazzle Reports has the first polling out and finds that Linc Chafee still wins in each 3-way scenario. (Polling conducted 7/21, 500 RI Likely Voters, MoE +/- 4.5%)

Tennessee: Mason-Dixon has a poll of the GOP gubernatorial primary showing that the contest appears to be Nashville Mayor Bill Haslam’s to lose. He leads his two main rivals, Rep. Zach Wamp and state Sen. Ron Ramsey by double digits. The race (Polling conducted 7/19-7/21, 400 TN GOP Likely Voters, MoE +/- 5%)

The Arizona Republic issues one of the most twisted political endorsements I’ve read in a long time.

Essentially, their support of Republican Jan Brewer (who no longer has any serious GOP challengers after both Dean Martin and Buz Mills dropped out) comes despite their strong objections to her headstrong support of the controversial anti-immigration law she signed this past spring.

Nevermind that it was precisely the signing of the “If You’re Brown, Hit the Ground” legislation that propelled her past all challengers in the polls.

We disagree strongly with Brewer on one issue in particular – her ardent support for Senate Bill 1070, the immigration-enforcement law. We believe her signature on that law has badly damaged the state’s reputation by making Latino citizens feel they are under perpetual suspicion.

That is a significant concern. And one that will make governing more difficult should she win election in the fall.

On the other side of the ledger, we cannot overlook the strong, affirmative leadership she has demonstrated since ascending to her job in 2009, a demonstration of growth in the face of adversity.

There is a reason she has chased off most of her GOP adversaries. Brewer may not be the most articulate candidate out there. She may not exactly ooze sophistication. But she combines a sincere interest in doing what she sees best for Arizona with an often surprising capacity to enact her preferred policies.

Inarticulate and unsophisticated with a surprising capacity to enact her preferred policies. Wasn’t Dubya enough?

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Jul
14

Guber Quick Hits, Wed 7/14/10

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Arizona: Gov. Jan Brewer has a pretty clear path the the GOP nomination, as another of her primary opponents, wealthy self-financer Buz Mills, ‘suspends’ his campaign.

Colorado: While Republican Scott McInnis watches his gubernatorial candidacy disintegrate, Democratic hopeful John Hickenlooper used his annual State of the City speech to trumpet Denver’s success at weathering the recession.

Iowa: GOP nominee Terry Branstad joins the nativist camp in calling for an Arizona-style immigration policy in Iowa.

Maryland: Democratic Gov. Martin O’Malley is trumpeting the state’s AAA bond rating as proof of his administration’s fiscal stewardship.

Minnesota: Tom Emmer’s proposal to cut tipped employees’ minimum wage has morphed into a far different idea. Now he wants to make the first $20K servers and bartenders earn to be tax-free.

Nevada: Republican nominee Brian Sandoval’s campaign promises a series of three debates with Democrat Rory Reid, although the Reid campaign says that’s news to them.

Jul
10

Guber Quick Hits, Sat 7/10/10

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Arizona: Wealthy GOP guber wannabe Bux Mills filed legal papers Friday to block efforts by Jan Brewer from soliciting private donations to support her campaign. He argues her previous acceptance of public funds requires her to remain within the parameters of Arizona campaign finance law.

Arizona II: State Treasurer Dean Martin “suspended” his GOP gubernatorial bid, saying a contested primary “would be a distraction” to solving the state’s problems. All I can say is it must’ve gotten really cold there in Jan Brewer’s shadow as she rose in the polls demagoguing the immigration issue.

Illinois: If both major party guber candidates don’t show up for a debate, why even bother?

Nevada: Way ahead in the polls, GOP guber nominee Brian Sandoval won’t debate Rory (the younger) until the fall.

New Mexico: Susana Martinez wants to end the state’s three-year-old medical marijuana program. (h/t New Mexico Independent)

Oregon: Republican nominee Chris Dudley continues his trailblazing in the fundraising race against Democratic nominee John Kitzhaber.

Utah: Gov. Gary Herbert will travel to DC next week to participate in a gathering sponsored by Utah Rep. Rob Bishop attacking the Obama Administration’s “War on Western Jobs.”

Wisconsin: Democratic guber wannabe Tom Barrett will undergo a third surgery on the hand he injured when he attempted to defend a woman and her baby granddaughter from attack last summer.

Jul
05

Guber Quick Hits, Mon 7/5/10

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Alabama: The state teachers union is questioning Bradley Byrne’s charitable foundation’s potentially illegal diversion of $200,000 to a Republican political operative.

Alaska: Someone up in the Last Frontier either has a sense of humor or hasn’t been paying attention to the anti-Obama rhetoric that spews from demagogue Glenn Beck every night.

Arizona: Jan Brewer’s latest outrageous claims about illegal immigration – that beheaded bodies are littering the desert – have been refuted by local law enforcement.

California: Democrat Jerry Brown wants voters to help him fix California’s “constipated” government.

Connecticut: Former GOP guber rivals Michael Fedele and Mark Boughton have combined their donor bases as part of their gubernatorial ticket to help qualify for public financing. They’re going to need it to catch up to uber-wealthy Greenwich businessman Tom Foley who holds big leads in most public polls.

Florida: After bashing each other for being the more pro-gay candidate, Bill McCollum scored the endorsement of the Florida Family Policy Council leader over rival Rick Scott.

Iowa: After flirting with mounting a primary challenge to Chet Culver, local publisher Jonathan Narcisse tells the Des Moines Register he’s back – and running as in independent this November.

Kansas: Gov. Mark Parkinson – a former state GOP chair and donor to Sam Brownback – has endorsed Democrat Tom Holland citing his proven track record of bipartisan accomplishment.

Nevada: It’s become a distinct possibility that Rory could lose the support of Nevada’s firefighters union to Republican Brian Sandoval.

New Hampshire: Republican guber nominee John Stephen cancelled the bikini-clad babes who were going to add some spice to a July 11th fundraiser after Democrats decried the event as an affront to women.

New Mexico: Will an all-Hispanic GOP gubernatorial ticket cause conservative Republican voters to abandon their party this November?

Oregon: Proving once again that cutting spending is more difficult than the rhetoric suggests, former Portland Trail Blazer Chris Dudley (and GOP guber wannabe) is lobbying Portland’s schools against cutting funding for PE.

Pennsylvania: GOP guber hopeful Tom Corbett is refusing a request by an environmental group to return a $3,000 donation from Anadarko Petroleum, one of the companies responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Tennessee: In a game of who’s got the biggest Tea Party guest list, GOP guber wannabes trade lists.  First, it was Ron Ramsey touting how many Tea Partiers thought he was cool. Not to be outdone, Bill Haslam rolled out his roster a few days later.

Wyoming: Elderly pitchman Wilfred Brimley has cut a radio ad endorsing GOP candidate Rita Meyer. Here’s the audio in which he praises Meyer as a staunch supporter of state’s rights and her promise “to do her utmost to keep the federal government out of our business and most of all, out of our wallets.”