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 Hawaii

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.

Sep
06

Guber Quick Hits, Mon 9/6/10

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Alabama: Democratic gubernatorial wannabe Ron Sparks is raising eyebrows over his comments supporting the reelection of Republican Richard Shelby to the US Senate.

Hawaii: The gubernatorial contest is taking on a religious tone, as Hawaii GOP chairman Jonah Kaauwai asked local pastors to bar Democrat Mufi Hannemann from public appearances in their churches.

Idaho: Republicans in the state legislature are trying to minimize the role Democratic guber wannabe Keith Allred played in a 2006 property tax reform effort that resulted in most Idahoans paying lower property taxes. Are they worried that Allred could actually be a contender to upset incumbent Butch Otter?

Maryland: As Maryland voters begin early voting in next week’s primary, Bob Ehrlich’s campaign is pointing to a surge in fundraising during the most recent eighteen-day reporting period as evidence his candidacy is gaining momentum. Despite raising nearly $500K more than the incumbent O’Malley, the Democrat still holds a nearly 3-to-1 advantage in cash on hand.

Massachusetts: Charlie Baker is calling in the GOP heavy hitters to help raise money for his guber bid. Maverick (that’s a good thing in the Bay State, even if it caused him headaches in his reelection) John McCain and wonderboy and fellow Massachusetts politico Sen. Scott Brown are both headlining an Oct. 1 fundraiser in Boston.

Michigan: Former Gateway exec Rick Snyder poured $6 million of his own fortune into buying the GOP guber nod. His total spending of $7.6 million was roughly equal to what all the other campaigns spent combined.

Nevada: Bush’s Rasputin is riding to the GOP’s rescue in the Silver State, where Republicans keep finding ways to fumble their mid-term advantage to the Democrats. Can his infusion of cash and television ads push GOP to wins over the Reid mini-dynasty?

South Carolina: When it comes to the gubernatorial race, pro-choice voters don’t have a choice.

South Dakota: South Dakota politicians have a history of living life in the fast-lane – literally. Former Gov. Bill Janklow spent time in prison for vehicular manslaughter because he was driving too fast. This year’s crop of candidates include quite a few who like to push the pedal to the metal, including both guber contenders.

Wyoming: GOP guber nominee Matt Mead spent an eye-popping (by Wyoming standards, at least) $1.4 million to win the GOP primary.

Aug
26

Guber Quick Hits, Thurs 8/26/10

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Hawaii: Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann picked up the backing of two of his former colleagues as the mayors of Kauai and the Big Island endorsed his guber primary bid. His opponent, former US Rep. Neil Abercrombie also picked up the support of a former colleague, as former Rep. Ed Case endorsed him.

Illinois: Tea Party in Obama’s home town? Republican Bill Brady’s campaign manager is helping fund Tea Party groups across Illinois.

Michigan: GOP guber nominee Rick Snyder – a former board member of The Nature Conservancy – has come under fire from some environmental groups over his selection of Brian Calley as his Light Guv dance partner.

New Hampshire: Gov. John Lynch has amassed an impressive $1.3 million campaign fundraising haul, although more than a third ($500K) has come from a personal loan made to his own campaign. Republican John Stephen has raised just under $1 million. Both have over $700K in the bank for the final two months of the campaign, although Stephen does have a competitive primary to win first on September 14th.

Oklahoma: Guber wannabes Mary Fallin and Jari Askins have agreed to two October debates.

Rhode Island: Former GOP Senator Lincoln Chafee – now running for governor as an independent – picked up the support of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Educators Association. The endorsement follows the lead of the state’s other major teachers union, the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals – which backed Chafee in July.

South Carolina: More than thirty Palmetto State mayors endorsed Democrat Vincent Sheheen’s gubernatorial campaign, saying he would better listen to the needs of local leaders than would his opponent, Nikki Haley.

Here’s the Aloha State edition of the RGA’s prolific national ad strategy underwritten by Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch’s million dollar donation to the RGA.

It highlights Lt. Gov Duke Aiona’s education plan, which apparently consists of auditing the state’s Department of Education, which Haley’s gang tells us amounts to innovative new ideas.

Spending funding more efficiently with better results sounds good, but where are the ideas?

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Aug
04

Guber Quick Hits, Wed 8/4/10

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California: Democrat Jerry Brown’s guber campaign is the model of fiscal conservatism, especially in comparison to the profligate spending by his opponent, MegaBucks Whitman. Brown reports having $23.2 million in the bank and having spent only $633,205 thus far. Of course, that doesn’t count any of the money being spent by labor and special interest groups supporting the Democrat’s bid.

California II: Is Loretta Sanchez banking on a Whitman victory this fall? She’s already filed paperwork with the CA Secretary of State to raise cash for a possible 2014 gubernatorial bid.

Florida:   The Orlando Sentinel’s Central Florida Political Pulse blog points out that GOP guber wannabe Bill McCollum’s ‘statewide’ Hispanic team is mostly from Miami. Anyone familiar with Florida politics understands that means it’s dominated by Cuban Americans – a traditional Republican voting bloc and not representative of any broad-based support that McCollum (or the GOP) may or may not have among the many other Hispanic communities in the the state.

Hawaii: Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann has stashed away $2 million for his gubernatorial race. Former US Rep. Neil Abercrombie, who is spending money at a much faster clip than his rival has under $500K.

Minnesota: Margaret Anderson Kelliher won the backing of liberal icon Paul Wellstone’s son David in her bid to win the DFL nod.

New Mexico: After winning an online contest, GOP guber nominee Susana Martinez will be getting more help from 2012 presidential contender Tim Pawlenty. The Minnesota governor will be appearing on the campaign trail with Martinez, soliciting funds via email and hosting a Facebook town-hall meeting live from New Mexico.

Rhode Island: Former US Senator Lincoln Chafee’s independent run for governor may be getting all the national media attention, but it’s Democrat Frank Caprio who has a huge fundraising lead over the former Republican. His $1.7 million bank account dwarfs Chafee’s $420,000.

Texas: Want to win a lunch with Karl Rove? That’s one of the prizes in a raffle Rick Perry is running to raise money and grow his donor base.

Aug
01

Guber Quick Hits, Sun 8/1/10

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Florida: Bill McCollum’s quest to prove his social conservative bona fides continues – he’s received the backing of former presidential candidate and family values stalwart Gary Bauer.

Hawai’i: The state’s largest private sector construction union, the 7,000 member Carpenters Union endorsed Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s guber bid in the Democratic Primary. His opponent, former US Rep. Neil Abercrombie, received the backing of the Hawaii Venture Capital Association.

Minnesota: Margaret Anderson Kelliher received the endorsement of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Pennsylvania: Democrat Dan Onorato reports raising more than $3.3 million since he won the May primary.

Vermont: The Professional Firefighters of Vermont endorsed Republican Brian Dubie.

Wisconsin: President Obama is going to be spending a lot of the dog days of August on the campaign and fundraising circuit. He’ll be in Florida, Georgia, and Ohio. He’ll also be in Milwaukee August 16th to host an economic event and headline a fundraiser for Democratic guber wannabe Tom Barrett.

Jul
21

Guber Quick Hits, Wed 7/21/10

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Colorado: As Rocky Mountain Republicans ponder how to clean up the mess that is their gubernatorial contest, independent candidate Jason Clark is trying to become a viable alternative. It’s quite a step up from advertising on Craig’s List for a Light Guv running mate.

Hawai’i: Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hanneman finally resigned as mayor and officially launched his gubernatorial bid against Democratic rival Neil Abercrombie. It’s a rivalry that’s been around for quite a long time – the former Congressman defeated Hannemann in a Democratic primary for his old House seat way back in 1986.

Massachusetts: Did Deval Patrick pull “a Sanford?”

Massachusetts II: Could Tim Cahill resurrect his floundering guber candidacy by winning over social conservatives? In a move that only hurts GOP guber wannabe Charlie Baker, an anti-abortion group, Massachusetts Citizens for Life backed Cahill’s independent bid.

Michigan: Former GOP Rep. Joe Schwarz, who had flirted with an indie guber run this year, has backed the “nerd” in the GOP primary, former Gateway exec Rick Snyder. He also urged Democrats to cross-over and participate in the Republican contest, despite the presence of a race between Andy Dillon and Virg Bernero on the Democratic side.

Nebraska: In the ‘why did they bother? file’  RazzleDazzle Polling reports that GOP incumbent Gov. Dave Heineman has a commanding lead over Democratic sacrificial lamb Mike Meister, who only became a candidate in the heavily Republican state within the last 10 days after the party’s nominee dropped his bid.

Pennsylvania: After hiding in his bunker for eleven days, GOP guber nominee Tom Corbett finally addressed his controversial comments on the long-term unemployed in a public forum.

South Carolina: They’re playing the “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” tax return game in South Carolina. Democrat Vince Sheheen has released ten years of his returns and has challenged Nikki Haley to do the same.

West Virginia: According to the WaPo’s Fix, the maneuvering to replace Gov. Manchin has begun in earnest. With no Light Gov-in-waiting, the Senate President Earl Ray Tomblin will be replace him if he wins the special US Senate race this November. How long he will serve is unknown, as state law requires a special election but is vague on when it should be held once a vacancy occurs.

Jul
09

Guber Quick Hits, TGIF 7/9/10

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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.

Jul
08

Guber Quick Hits, Thurs 7/8/10

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Alaska: Gov. Sean Parnell “visibly squirmed” when asked which candidate he supported in Alaska’s GOP US Senate primary. Could he be afraid of incurring the Wrath of Palin if he voiced support for incumbent Lisa Murkowski over Sarah’s preferred candidate?

California: The political game of “chicken” that defines the dysfunctional Golden State’s annual budget stalemate has led to the state controller suing to block the governor from reducing every state employee’s pay to the federal minimum wage. Is it time for one of the guber wannabes to step up and offer a solution to this year’s installment of “The Waiting Game” or are they content to keep their fingers crossed that some magical elixir will wash away all the debt?

Florida: Multi-millionaire Rick Scott has filed a lawsuit against Florida’s campaign finance system’s “millionaire’s amendment” as a violation of his First Amendment right to free speech. The amendment, which kicks in if Scott spends over the $24.9  million cap for the primary, seems to be pretty expensive free speech, if you ask me.

Hawaii: The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports a gay tourist boycott of the Aloha State may materialize in response to Gov. Linda Lingle’s veto of the civil unions bill.

Kentucky: PPP is out with an early look at Democrat Steve Beshear’s reelection chances. Voters appear apathetic about the governor’s job performance (38% approve, 35% disapprove, 26% with no opinion) and is in virtual dead heats against potential GOP challengers.

New York: Accidental Gov. David Paterson is praising Democratic Light Guv candidate Bob Duffy as an “outstanding choice” who would be a superb governor if he had to unexpectedly become the Empire State’s chief executive. But let’s be honest here, Paterson hasn’t set the expectations bar very high.

Ohio: Tonight’s the night of reckoning. LeBron decides whether he stays in Cleveland or abandons his hometown Cavaliers. If he leaves does that inflict a mortal wound on Republican John Kasich who dismissed the King’s importance? Or does Ted Strickland get blamed for not doing enough to keep LeBron home (maybe they could build a border fence or something?)

Oregon: The Independent Party of Oregon’s 55,000 members have begun receiving notices in the mail providing them information as to how to log on and participate in the state’s first primary election for a minor party.

Pennsylvania: Democratic nominee Dan Onorato is trumpeting an impressive $1 million raised over the past month.

Republican Linda Lingle placated the GOP’s conservative base this afternoon by vetoing the civil unions bill that’s been sitting on her desk since April.

Lingle said the legislative maneuvering by the House, which brought the bill to a vote on the last day of session, was wrong and that the issue is of such societal importance that it should involve all the people of Hawaii.

She said she made the decision about a week ago. “I feel very comfortable with my decision,” she said. “I think I gave (the issue) the dignity that it deserved.”

“I have been open and consistent in my opposition to same-sex marriage, and find that House Bill 444 is essentially same sex marriage by another name,” the governor said.

The candidates running to replace Lingle reacted quickly to the news.

Lt. Gov Duke Aiona promised to go a step further than his fellow Republican by proposing a constitutional amendment so voters can define marriage “once and for all.”

Democrat Mufi Hannemann said:

“Now that the governor has decided the fate of House Bill 444, I firmly support steps to let the people of Hawaii have the final say on an issue that has generated passionate perspectives. I continue to believe that marriage between a man and a woman is sacrosanct. That said, as someone who has fought to overcome prejudice, I would also continue to champion the civil rights of all citizens and seek to end discrimination — in employment, housing, health care, and areas where it still exists — irrespective of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religious preference. If given the opportunity, I know the people of Hawaii will have the wisdom and compassion to make a decision that reflects our values and goals for a fair and open society.”

His Democratic primary opponent, former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie was the most progressive in his response, promising to work toward equality within the parameters defined by the Legislature.

“Gov. Lingle has made her choice and the Legislature has said it will not go back into a special session for any veto overrides. HB 444 was not a same-sex marriage bill. The State Legislature has already defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Civil unions respect our diversity, protect people’s privacy and reinforce our core values of equality and aloha.

“Now, it will be up to the next governor and Legislature to ensure that all people of Hawaii receive equal treatment. Protecting people’s civil rights cannot be compromised. I am committed to that most essential of constitutional imperatives.”

Categories : Hawaii, LGBT
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