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


Archive for Connecticut


Guber Quick Hits, TGIF 9/10/10

Posted by: | Comments (0)

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.


Guber Quick Hits, Thurs 9/9/10

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Alabama: Democrat Ron Sparks was joined on the campaign trail by former presidential candidate and retired Gen. Wesley Clark who said, “Ron Sparks is better experienced and better equipped than anybody I know in this state and certainly better than anyone in this race to be your next governor.”

California: Jerry Brown has agreed to a third debate against Republican Meg Whitman in Fresno.

California II: One might think that in the aftermath of a deep recession caused by a Wall Street meltdown that Main Street has yet to recover from (especially in housing bubble-ravaged California) ties to Wall Street would not be considered a political strength. But Meg Whitman isn’t exactly hiding her Wall Street ties.

Colorado: Colorado Springs is the bastion of conservatism in the Rocky Mountain State – the news that Democrat John Hickenlooper has the support of 52% of voters in the city is yet another indication of how badly the Republicans have fumbled their opportunity to pick up the governor’s seat.

Colorado II: Unlike in many other gubernatorial contests where the debates about the debates is a back and forth that results in fewer and fewer forums between the candidates, the two major party candidates in Colorado have agreed to an impressive nine event debate schedule.

Connecticut: Republican Tom Foley has agreed to a series of four televised debates – one on each of the local Connecticut affiliates of the major television networks. His Democratic rival Dan Malloy, however, wanted to meet as many as 19 times.

Florida: It appears to be the time to get serious about the debates in states across the country. Rick Scott and Alex Sink appear to have reached agreement on two guber debates (although Sink wanted five) and have both indicated they will be making their income tax returns public soon.

Florida II: Has Alex Sink ‘gone rogue’ on the Democrats by supporting the extension of the Bush tax cuts?

Georgia: Republican Nathan Deal has partially released his tax returns, but the timing (right before the long Labor Day weekend) and the missing pieces raise more questions about his family finances. Democrat Roy Barnes had previously released 25 years of returns and posted them on his website.

Pennsylvania: Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is back in the Keystone State this week helping fellow Republican Tom Corbett raise money for his guber bid.

Rhode Island: RI Future, a progressive website in the Ocean State that worked to defeat former Sen. Lincoln Chafee when now-Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse ousted the moderate Republican has now taken another look at Chafee and finds that he’s the right choice for governor in 2010. Of course, he’s no longer got that “R” label attached to his name.


Guber Quick Hits, Sat 7/24/10

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Connecticut: Ted Kennedy, Jr is appearing in a campaign commercial supporting Ned Lamont’s gubernatorial bid.  He also received the backing of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus.

Michigan: With the August 3rd primaries rapidly approaching Michigan politicians are making their picks.  Detroit Mayor Dave Bing endorsed House Speaker Andy Dillon on the Democratic side while former Gov. William Milliken backed Rick Snyder in the crowded GOP field. Rep. Pete Hoekstra received the backing of the 90,000-member Teamsters union. Even ‘Joe the Plumber’ has weighed in on the GOP race, picking Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, who has also won the support of Michigan’s political GOP spouses.

Rhode Island: Frank Caprio’s guber campaign is calling in one of the Democratic Party’s biggest headliners, former President Bill Clinton. Caprio’s path to the Democratic nod was cleared recently when AG Patrick Lynch abandoned his bid but he still has a tough three candidate contest ahead against Republican John Robitaille and Independent Linc Chafee.

Tennessee: Guber wannabe Zach Wamp says that if the 2010 and 2012 congressional elections don’t go the right way, states may have to consider seceding from the union over healthcare mandates.

Wisconsin: A week ago, Democrat Tom Barrett was touting his 2010 fundraising haul as the best in state history. Turns out Republican rival Scott Walker is raking in the cash at a slightly faster pace. Walker’s $2.5 million bested Barrett’s $2.4M. The Democrat, who unlike Walker, has no significant primary opposition, can take comfort in the fact he’s got more money stashed in the bank.


Guber Quick Hits, Mon 7/19/10

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Connecticut: One of the state’s largest labor coalitions, the SEIU, is throwing its weight behind Democrat Dan Malloy in his primary contest against front-runner Ned Lamont.

Florida: The state Republican establishment continues it’s efforts to save the sinking guber campaign of Bill McCollum, with soon-to-be-senate president Mike Haridopolos chipping in $50K to McCollum’s Florida First Initiative 527.

Idaho: Democratic challenger Keith Allred is on the campaign trail holding a series of  ’town hall’ meetings with real voters. Incumbent Butch Otter has taken a starkly different approach in his reelection campaign, as he ducked the only public debate of the primary campaign.

Illinois: The two major party guber contenders start the second half of the year on equal financial footing.

Minnesota: The MN chapter of the National Organization for Women passed over Margaret Anderson Kelliher, the first woman to win a major-party guber nomination in the state, to endorse Matt Entenza.

Vermont: Democratic guber wannabe Peter Shumlin is getting support from medical providers because he’s the only candidate advocating a single-payer health care bill.

Wyoming: Democrat Dave Freudenthal explains his idea to sell state-controlled parcels of Grand Teton National Park.

Wyoming: GOP guber candidate Ron Micheli is providing a new twist to the “compassionate conservative” label, as he finds himself embroiled in a controversy after writing a letter of support for a convicted rapist.


CT: Courts and Clean Elections

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Three separate court decisions regarding Connecticut’s new Clean Elections public financing system were released on Tuesday.

The Republican primary has been in limbo while former Ambassador Tom Foley challenged Lt. Gov Michael Fedele’s right to spend over $2.1M in public money his campaign has already received. A  state court ruled in favor of Fedele’s campaign, although Foley is appealing the ruling to the State Supreme Court.

In a crucial court ruling that will have a dramatic impact on the governor’s race, Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele won a lawsuit Tuesday that will allow him to spend more than $2 million against Greenwich multimillionaire Tom Foley in an increasingly bitter race.

The nine-page ruling marks a watershed in the Republican primary as Fedele will now be able to compete on television and in paid advertisements against Foley, who has already poured more than $2 million into his campaign.

With exactly one month left until the August 10 primary, Fedele will be spending about $2 million in one month – one of the highest totals in state history.

While Fedele was celebrating the state court ruling, a separate decision by a federal appeals court struck down the “millionaire’s amendment” provision of the law that provides additional public money to candidates facing self-funding wealthy candidates, such as Foley.

Foley believes the federal decision means Fedele should be required to return nearly $1 million that was granted as a result of Foley’s spending. Fedele’s campaign says state law doesn’t require him to return funds he has already received.

Foley’s response? See you in court.

Comments (0)

Guber Quick Hits, Tues 7/13/10

Posted by: | Comments (0)

California: MegaBucks Whitman continues her efforts to whitewash her anti-immigrant rhetoric of the GOP primary, adding banner ads on Spanish-language websites as another avenue to connect with the Golden State’s Latino community.

Connecticut: Two court decisions – one federal, one state – were rendered today regarding Connecticut’s new Clean Elections public financing system. In a big blow to Republican Michael Fedele’s campaign against self-financer Tom Foley, the state decision struck down the provision’s “millionaire’s amendment.”

Florida: The last I heard, gluttony was considered one of the seven deadly sins.  Regardless of what it means in the afterlife, the RPOF’s binging could have political repercussions in both the US Senate and gubernatorial contests.

Illinois: Pat Quinn’s election effort is haunted by the specter of Rod Blagojevich.  The disgraced former governor’s corruption trial couldn’t be happening at a worse time for Quinn as he tries to win the governor’s mansion in his own name. Over the weekend, he signed a pair of ethics reform laws he hopes roots out corruption in Illinois and creates distance between the incumbent and the man he replaced.

Massachusetts: Deval Patrick is tweeting about the Bay State appearing as #5 in CNBC’s rankings of best state for business. It’s the first time a northeastern state has appeared in the media outlets Top 5.

Michigan: In the battle of establishment endorsements, House Speaker Andy Dillon picked up the support of former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer while his Democratic opponent Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero added two US Congressmen and former guber wannabe state Rep. Alma Wheeler Smith to his stable of endorsers.

Minnesota: For some inexplicable reason, GOP guber wannabe Tom Emmer keeps the “waiters make too much money” storyline going. Over the weekend, he decided to wait tables for a shift and on Wednesday he plans  town hall meeting with restaurant servers as the audience.

Minnesota II: With nearly a month to go before the August 10th primary DFL candidates and DFL-leaning groups have spent nearly $2.2 million in television advertising.

Texas: Lone Star state Democrats – who were stung by Tom DeLay’s unorthodox (and possibly illegal) mid-decade redistricting maneuvers – are already crying ‘foul’ over the state GOP’s ‘unprecedented’ changes to the state’s redistricting process for next year.


Guber Quick Hits, Sun 7/11/10

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Connecticut: Democrat Ned Lamont wanted as many debates as possible back in 2006 when he was challenging Sen. Joe Lieberman. Now he’s the frontrunner for the Democratic guber nod and he has backed out of a previously-scheduled televised debate against Dannell Malloy. He argues he’s appeared at numerous joint forums during the primary campaign and doesn’t see the need to appear at the debate. When your a wealthy candidate who can puff up your image and get your message out with campaign commercials, risking a public gaffe when the voters are actually paying attention (and the cameras are rolling) doesn’t seem worth the risk, apparently.

Michigan: The Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed Democrat Andy Dillon’s gubernatorial bid. But the MI House Speaker may have a difficult path to a general election victory if he wins the Dem nod.  The president of the Michigan AFL-CIO is warning that the state’s labor  movement may not unite behind a Dillon candidacy.

Rhode Island: The Moderate Party of Rhode Island has sued the state to block the release of public campaign cash to the Democrats and Republicans arguing the distribution formula amounts to an unfair subsidy to the major parties. As a newly-recognized political party, the Moderates don’t stand to receive any funding.

South Carolina: Palmetto State Dems are borrowing a (failed) line of attack used by John McCain against Obama in 2008. They’re going after GOP guber nominee Nikki Haley’s ‘celebrity‘ status, a rather silly and pointless exercise, in my opinion.

Tennessee: Three weeks before the GOP primary, the Knoxville News Sentinel makes its editorial pick – backing hometown favorite son Mayor Bill Haslam.


Guber Quick Hits, TGIF 7/9/10

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Connecticut: Democrat Dannell Malloy quickly praised a Massachusetts federal judge’s ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. Will this become an issue in the gubernatorial contests throughout New England?

Connecticut II: Republican Michael Fedele should soon be rolling in publicly-financed campaign dough. Due to receive a public grant of nearly $2.2 million, he proclaims he’s ‘ready to rock‘ in the GOP primary against Tom Foley and Oz Griebel. But Foley has filed a lawsuit to prevent the state from transferring the funds.

Florida: In redistricting news, a Leon County judge struck Amendment 7 from Florida’s November ballot. The Republican-backed amendment had been called a “poison pill” that would’ve undermined the intent of Amendments 5 and 6 which seek to reform the way the Sunshine State draws it’s legislative and congressional districts. Incoming State Senate President Mike Haridopolos responded to the decision by saying if 7 was flawed, it must mean Amendments 5 & 6 are as well and should be removed from the ballot.

Hawaii: Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann picked up the endorsement of one of Hawaii’s largest unions, the United Public Workers.

Massachusetts: Republican Charlie Baker’s gubernatorial campaign now has more money in the bank than either of his major rivals, Deval Patrick and Timothy Cahill, after Cahill spent more than $400K on campaign ads early this summer.

Minnesota: Tom Emmer’s campaign continues getting bashed over his ill-conceived proposal to cut waiters hourly wages.

Nebraska: Democrats are still searching for a gubernatorial candidate.

Texas: All the threads of evidence in the mystery about who provided the funding to get the Green Party certified on the Lone Star ballot point to Rick Perry’s camp. It turns out this might not be the first time Perry has employed this tactic.


Guber Quick Hits, Mon 7/5/10

Posted by: | Comments (0)

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.”


Guber Quick Hits, Wed 7/1/10

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Alabama: Dick Morris, the keynote speaker at the GOP Summer Dinner not-so-subtly advocated voting for one candidate over another in the GOP guber primary.

California: It’s the first day of another fiscal year and once again California’s dysfunctional political system has failed to reach agreement on this year’s budget, which has a projected shortfall of $19.1 billion.

Connecticut: Talk about off-message – GOP guber wannabe Tom Foley has been in getting unwanted headlines about a decades-old arrests over road rage incidents. Now he’s got his ex-wife signing an affidavit he never abused her.

Georgia: Insurance Commissioner (and GOP guber wannabe) John Oxendine raised over $800K during the past two months.

New York: David Paterson is swearing off politics at the end of his disastrous partial term as New York’s Accidental Governor.

Ohio: Good news for Democrat Tom Strickland as he seeks reelection. The Buckeye State finished the  fiscal year with a $139 million surplus. That’s a headline few governors have been able to celebrate in recent years.

Pennsylvania: Ed Rendell tells Politico that fellow Democrat Dan Onorato is the underdog in the race to replace him.

Texas: The players in next year’s biggest congressional redistricting contest have been cast. Lt. Gov. David Dewhirst has appointed the 11-member Senate Select Committee on Redistricting six months before the legislature convenes so the members can travel the state and get input from Texans on how best to redraw political boundaries.