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

800px-governors_by_party

Archive for LGBT

Aug
23

Guber Quick Hits, Mon 8/23/10

Posted by: | Comments (0)

California: Elections have consequences. Meg Whitman has promised she will pursue the appeal of federal judge Vaughn Ward’s decision declaring Prop 8 unconstitutional.  Both current Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic guber nominee (and current AG) Jerry Brown have refused to pursue an appeal and support the resumption of same-sex marriages.

Georgia: All is forgiven, apparently. The Georgia Association of Educators has endorsed former Gov. Roy Barnes’ campaign. Barnes was dumped from office in 2002 when teachers across the state abandoned him after he attempted reform that was wildly unpopular with them.

Illinois: Another departure for Pat Quinn’s struggling campaign. The other day, it was the Accidental Governor’s media firm. Today, it’s his chief of staff, who resigned after ethics questions were raised about political emails coming from his government account.

Maryland: It looks like there are limits to Sarah Palin’s magic. In deepest blue Maryland, even GOP primary voters don’t seem to be responding to her surprising guber endorsement.

Michigan: Mitt Romney endorsed GOP nominee Rick Snyder’s guber effort. The former (and future?) presidential hopeful had backed the wrong horse (Pete Hoekstra) in the GOP primary. As one of his (many) home states, having an ally in the governorship in Michigan could prove critical to Romney’s hopes of winning the 2012 GOP presidential sweepstakes.

Minnesota: Could Emmer marginalize himself? As the state most recently governed by a third party candidate (remember Jesse Ventura?), third party candidates for governor receive much more media attention (and voter support) than in many other states. This past Thursday, DFL nominee Mark Dayton and Independence Party nominee Tom Horner met in their first one-on-one guber debate. Emmer was off raising money. By ceding the stage to the two, does Emmer elevate Horner (a former moderate Republican) in the eyes of Minnesota voters? As Emmer and figures like Michele Bachmann pull their party to the fringe, could Horner become a more viable alternative for some disaffected voters?

Pennsylvania: Tea Party fave Sam Rohrer was easily defeated in May’s GOP guber primary by AG Tom Corbett but that isn’t stopping Rohrer’s supporters from launching a write-in campaign.

Aug
11

Guber Quick Hits, Wed 8/11/10

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Alaska: Gov. Sean Parnell has temporarily suspended his election campaign in the aftermath of the plane crash that killed former Senator Ted Stevens.

California: GOP guber wannabe MegaBucks Whitman’s effort to woo critical Latino voters has sparked a feud among conservative talk radio hosts. LA radio talkers “John and Ken” have been highly critical of eMeg’s move to the middle on the contentious issue of immigration. Sacramento talk jockey Eric Hogue is denouncing his conservative colleagues for creating “a summer radio ratings stunt.”

Florida: Does Rick Scott prove the adage, ‘once a cheater, always a cheater?’ More allegations of overbilling Medicare surface in the closing weeks of the contentious GOP guber primary.

Iowa: The Hawkeye State guber contest between current Democratic Gov. Chet Culver and former Republican Gov. Terry Branstad will have a series of three head-to-head debates, according to the Branstad campaign.

Iowa II: Despite some social conservatives waving the white flag of surrender over same-sex marriage following federal Judge Vaughn Walker’s Prop 8 decision, vanquished guber wannabe Bob Vander Plaats is digging in and vowing an all-out effort to oust the three ‘activist justices’ who brought gay marriage to the Hawkeye State. Tim Pawlenty has jumped on the “dump the judges” bandwagon as he positions himself for a 2012 presidential run.

Kansas: Despite being shellacked by Sam Brownback in the GOP guber primary, crazy Joan Heffington vows to soldier on as a write-in candidate.  (8/10)

Massachusetts: Gov. Deval Patrick wants a series of eight debates between Labor Day and Election Day.

Pennsylvania: Proving that the Tea Party tempest may be a Pandora’s box the GOP may come to regret opening, the conservative supporters of Tea Party fave Sam Rohrer have launched a write-in effort for governor. GOP nominee Tom Corbett treated Rohrer as little more than a nuisance during the primary. Will the race between Corbett and Democrat Dan Onorato be tight enough that Rohrer’s effort could drain enough conservative support to tip the race?

The emerging conventional wisdom among the chattering classes is that yesterday’s landmark legal ruling by Judge Vaughn Walker that California’s Proposition 8 violated the U.S. Constitution on both due process and equal protection grounds places Democrats, particularly President Obama, in an unenviable political predicament heading into the November mid-terms.

The president, who has skillfully ducked and bobbed around the contentious issue, is probably thankful he’s not on the ballot this time around. The decision may hurt a handful of already endangered congressmen by further motivating the conservative base, but considering how the question of marriage equality has roiled state capitals for a decade now, but will it affect the governor’s contests?

Over at 538 there are a couple of relevant posts about the decision’s potential affects. Nate analyzes whether or not gay marriage could be resurrected as a potent force as it was in 2004 following Massachusetts historic legalization of same-sex marriage. He observes that the Tea Party’s relative silence on the issue has been a wise political strategy, even if its been accidental. The GOP Establishment, however, has shown an eagerness to push their anti-gay marriage position.

And that’s where the GOP might overreach.

After watching Pat Buchanan foaming at the mouth like it was the 1992 GOP convention this morning, it seems the issue may prove far too tempting for the homophobes to prevent themselves from showing their rabid homophobia – and potentially turning off moderate (and younger voters).

As another 538 post graphically shows, gay marriage is gaining support in every state (except Utah). While it garners majority support in only a handful of states, conservatives should tread lightly in revealing their inner Archie Bunkers, or they could further alienate younger voters and actually give them a reason to go to the polls this November. Could Pat Buchanan once again help motivate otherwise apathetic voters to get to the polls again? Nate wonders whether or not Sarah Palin will be able to refrain herself from jumping into the fray…

Read More→

Jul
16

Guber Quick Hits, TGIF 7/16/10

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Alabama: Defeated Dem guber wannabe (and soon to be former congresscritter) Artur Davis is praising GOP nominee Robert Bentley. Looks like he was serious about getting out of politics for good.

Arkansas: Incumbent Gov. Mike Beebe is the only Democrat cruising to re-election this November. He’s ahead in the polls and most of the media focus in the state has been on the US Senate race. He’s also got $2.7 million in the bank to fend off his Republican challenger Jim Keet.

Georgia: According to a new Mason Dixon poll, 50% of Georgians are willing to pay higher taxes to fund schools. Where is all that anti-tax fervor the media keeps telling us about?

Illinois: Gov. Pat Quinn is rolling back raises for senior staff after taking a beating from opponent Bill Brady over the issue.

Maine: The mystery about who was behind the primary eve robo-calls attacking eventual GOP winner Paul LePage has been solved.

New Hampshire: Anti-gay marriage activists brought their national bus tour to the Granite State, protesting Gov. John Lynch’s decision to sign marriage equality legislation last year. They’re hoping their chants of “Lynch Lied” can undercut the incumbent’s quest for an unprecedented fourth term.

Pennsylvania: Dan Onorato is slamming “Clueless Tom Corbett” at a new website ridiculing the Republican for his comments saying the long-term unemployed don’t want to work.

Vermont: Republican Lt. Gov Brian Dubie has the GOP primary field to himself and he’s taken the opportunity to stake out a significant fundraising lead over the five Democrats jostling for their party’s guber nod.

Wisconsin: Democrat Tom Barrett has over $2.9 million in the bank for his gubernatorial campaign. He’s going to need it, if a recent Badger Poll is accurate. He trails either of his potential GOP rivals by double digits, although huge numbers of voters remain undecided.

Jul
09

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.

Jul
09

IA: The GOP’s Uncivil Union

Posted by: | Comments (0)

This certainly wasn’t what Republican Terry Branstad hoped would happen when he picked Kim Reynolds as his Light Guv dance partner.

Republican lieutenant governor nominee Kim Reynolds saying Tuesday that she would be open to legalized civil unions for gay couples has drawn the ire of the very people she was sent out to court — evangelical voters.

Brought onto the campaign to bridge the schism between the GOP’s evangelical base and moderate establishment, Reynolds instead fell into the chasm and doesn’t seem to be able to crawl her way out from it. The social conservatives aren’t letting up in their public attacks on the Branstad/Reynolds ticket:

“It’s consistent with what we’ve seen out of the Branstad campaign all along,” Bryan English, a spokesman for the Iowa Family Policy Center, told the Quad-City Times’ Ed Tibbetts. “They’ve just failed to understand or adequately articulate the gravity of the issues they’re talking about.”

The IFPC endorsed Vander Plaats in the primary and has refused to endorse or assist Branstad in the fall campaign, primary due to his stance on social issues like same-sex marriage.

Continuing his line of attack from Wednesday, Christian radio host and Vander Plaats supporter Steve Deace said Thursday on his WHO-AM show that Reynolds’ answers show she’s a candidate of “positions and not convictions.” He called the interview a “complete meltdown.”

“And by the way, her positions are pretty good,” Deace said. “Her record in the state senate, private property rights aside, is pretty good. But the first time her worldview is challenged, and she has to go toe-to-toe with someone who has thought about their worldview but just came to a different conclusion, she does not have the moral conviction to withstand that scrutiny. And if you watch that video, she falls apart.”

The unanswered question at this point is whether this will entice Bob Vander Plaats to consider following through on his threat to launch an independent gubernatorial bid? An even larger question, how would national Republicans, especially those with 2012 presidential aspirations, react to a Vander Plaats candidacy?

Comments (0)
Jul
08

Guber Quick Hits, Thurs 7/8/10

Posted by: | Comments (0)

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
Comments (0)
Jul
05

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.”

Jun
23

Guber Quick Hits, Wed, 6/23/10

Posted by: | Comments (0)

Colorado: Why is Republican Scott McInnis dodging press conferences?

Florida: Gov. Charlie Crist’s newfound independence has freed him from the conservative ideological constraints imposed on him by an activist base. The St. Pete Times editorializes that this new-found freedom has helped him move Florida forward.

Iowa: The anti-gay marriage group National Organization for marriage will be swarming like locusts across Iowa this summer – holding rallies in 22 cities to help launch a new initiative called The Reclaim Iowa Project.

Maryland: Gov. Martin O’Malley has been attacking former Gov. Bob Ehrlich as a “Big Oil lobbyist,” a claim The Baltimore Sun editorializes that he “goes too far” in a recent radio ad.

New York: An unprecedented 83% of New Yorkers believe their state government is dysfunctional according to the latest  polling from Quinnipiac. Nearly half (47%) are very dissatisfied with the way things are going in the Empire State these days and 4 out of 5 describe Albany’s failure to pass a budget (deadline was April 1) as a very serious problem. Now, why would anyone want to govern that mess?

Ohio: Someone on John Kasich’s campaign needs to give him some advice as to how to at least pretend to care about the LeBron question.

Pennsylvania: The Keystone State has experienced a rash of political corruption scandals unlike any seen in the state since the 1970s. The question in the guber race is which candidate can turn this to his advantage. Who can clean up the mess in the legislature?

Tennessee: The economist that gave the world “Reaganomics” (and the “Laffer curve“) has endorsed Republican Bill Haslam’s guber bid.

Texas: A public watchdog group has filed a complaint against Rick Perry over his lack of transparency over the more than $800,000 spent since 2001 on the governor’s interim residence.

Texas II: There’s more dissension brewing within the Lone Star State’s GOP. Leo Berman is planning to run against House Speaker Joe Straus, who Berman accuses of cutting a deal with House Democrats to win the position a year ago. If Berman succeeds in ousting Straus, expect Texas to become another lightning rod in the immigration debate.