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 New York

Jul
12

Guber Quick Hits, Mon 7/12/10

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Alabama: Mike Huckabee has lent his voice to Robert Bentley’s run-off effort, recording a robo-call going out over the campaign’s final weekend.

Florida: It looks like the fight to reform the redistricting process in Florida might end up before the state’s Supreme Court.

New Mexico: Susana Martinez’ campaign spokesman had a really bad day Sunday. He got arrested for DWI early in the morning and was fired as a result before the end of the day. Martinez really had no choice. In campaign ads earlier this summer, Democratic opponent Diane Denish had accused the Ana Dona County DA of cutting deals with DWI offenders.

New York: Republican Rick Lazio is offering to share his tax returns if opponent Andrew Cuomo shows his, too.

Ohio: Following last month’s endorsement by the powerful NRA, Democrat Ted Strickland picked up the support of the Buckeye Firearms Association in his campaign against former US Rep. John Kasich.

Pennsylvania: Democrat Dan Onorato will be calling in one of the party’s biggest weapons, former President Bill Clinton, to campaign on his behalf. Clinton’s presence was credited with helping Dems win the special election to replace the late John Murtha.

South Carolina: Despite a spike in out-of-state donations to Nikki Haley’s gubernatorial campaign after Sarah Palin’s endorsement, the Republican nominee still trails Democrat Vincent Sheheen in the money race.

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.

Jul
07

Guber Quick Hits, Wed 7/7/10

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Colorado: The Denver Post editorializes against a trio of ballot questions that, if passed, could cripple Colorado’s state government.

Georgia: Wealthy businessman Ray Boyd, who attempted to run for the GOP guber nod (but was purged for refusing to take loyalty pledge) and then threw in the towel when he realized just how time consuming and expensive gathering all those signatures required of a third party candidate, has gotten most of his money back.

Maryland: Long-shot GOP candidate Brian Murphy (yes, Bob Ehrlich does have a primary to get through before he gets his shot at revenge) has selected his second Light Guv dance partner of the campaign. His first choice, clearly not a fan of lost causes, abandoned the ticket when Ehrlich made it clear he was running.

Minnesota: In the game of “I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours” DFL-endorsed guber hopeful Margaret Anderson Kelliher followed front-runner Mark Dayton in releasing her tax returns for public review. Will that force fellow DFLer Matt Entenza or Republican Tom Emmer to release theirs as well?

New York: Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino hasn’t given up in his gubernatorial quest. He’s still petitioning to appear on the GOP primary ballot but he’s also planning on appearing on the yet-to-be-formed Taxpayer party line in November.

Oklahoma: Jan Brewer continues her effort to dislodge Sarah as the GOP’s Queen Bee. She’s endorsing Okie Mama Grizzly Mary Fallin’s guber run, also, you betcha!

Tennessee: Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam – who probably could have financed his own gubernatorial run with his own bank account – has raised an intimidating $8.7 million from 12,000 individual donors for his campaign.

Utah: The debates about the debates is underway in the Beehive State. Gov. Gary Herbert proposed a series of eight forums, while Democrat Peter Corroon wants 22.

Rick Lazio lays out the depth of the financial crisis facing New York in a new web ad. (h/t Capital Tonight)

It makes me wonder yet again, why would anyone want to be governor anywhere these days?

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Jul
01

Guber Quick Hits, Wed 7/1/10

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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.

Jun
30

Guber Quick Hits, Wed 6/30/10

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Georgia: Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine may be on the ethics hot seat next week now that a five-month vacancy on the Georgia Ethics Commission has been filled.

Illinois: GOP guber nominee Bill Brady backed away from his idea to lower the state’s minimum wage but proposed eliminating state matching contributions to state worker’s employee 401(k)s.

Massachusetts: Say whatever you want about Deval Patrick’s politics, but you can’t deny he’s a successful multi-tasker who apparently doesn’t suffer from writer’s block. He’s met his publisher’s deadline for his upcoming “inspirational memoir” about his life.

New Mexico: GOP guber nominee Susana Martinez has reprimanded a prosecutor in her Las Cruces District Attorney’s office for sending an anti-immigrant joke from a state e-mail account. Democrat Diane Denish says she would go further and fire the offending employee.

New York: Conservative Party Chairman Mike Long is furious with the state GOP’s continued efforts to create an additional line on the ballot for the Republican Party’s statewide candidates.

Jun
26

Guber Quick Hits, Sat 6/26/10

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Alaska: Republican guber wannabe Bill Walker is requesting files for records related to the state’s natural gas pipeline open season, a huge economic issue dominating Alaskan politics. Walker believes Gov. Sean Parnell’s administration should be more transparent about the process, the outcome of which will affect Alaskans for generations to come.

Arizona: Just days after becoming a member of the NRA’s executive committee, GOP guber wannabe Buz Mills was passed over as the gun lobby endorsed incumbent Gov. Jan Brewer for re-election.

California: Big redistricting battle looms this fall, as Golden State voters will be asked to weigh in in two competing redistricting ballot initiatives. One seeks to expand 2008′s Proposition 11 to include congressional redistricting. The other seeks to undo the commission created by Prop 11.

Illinois: Scott Lee Cohen’s 133,000 signatures to get on the ballot as an independent guber wannabe may not be challenged by Pat Quinn or the Democrats, but two cases currently in the courts could kick him off the ballot prior to the September certification of the final ballot by the State Board of Elections.

Kansas: In a preemptive move dismissing a nod he probably had little chance of getting, Democrat Tom Holland has told the state Chamber of Commerce he doesn’t want their support, saying “The priorities and actions of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce have become highly partisan and detrimental to the development of our state’s economy.”

Maine: Independent candidate Eliot Cutler leads the pack of privately finance gubernatorial candidates having raised over $700,000.

New York: Rick Lazio wants the Empire State to say good-bye to Hollywood, or at least Dem plans to expand movie industry tax breaks.

Oregon: Bucking the trend of Attorneys General filing suit against the new health care legislation, the Beaver State’s AG wants to file an amicus brief in favor of the federal government’s position in the healthcare lawsuit.

South Carolina: The SC Chamber of Commerce endorsement of Democrat Vincent Sheheen is providing hope to Palmetto State Dems they might derail Nikki Haley.

Texas: Public Policy Polling shows Kay Bailey Hutchison’s approval dropping from 58% to 37% over the past 16 months. How much of that is due to the beating she took from Rick Perry during their gubernatorial primary contest and how much of that is simply the national wave of disgust at DC politicians is difficult to determine. But if she does change her mind (again) and decide to run for another Senate term, she may be in for a tough campaign.

Jun
24

Guber Quick Hits, Thurs 6/24/10

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Alabama: Third-place finisher Tim James endorsed second-place finisher Robert Bentley in the GOP guber run-off against Bradley Byrne.

Connecticut: The Nutmeg State’s largest teachers’ union, the 40,000-member Connecticut Education Association endorsed Democrat Ned Lamont in the guber primary.

Michigan: Moderate Rep. Vern Ehlers has endorsed his more conservative colleague Pete Hoekstra’s guber campaign, as polls show Hoekstra losing ground to a surging Mike Cox.

Minnesota: Former DFL guber wannabe Susan Gaertner is backing former House minority leader Matt Entenza over DFL-endorsed Margaret Anderson Kelliher.

Nevada: Political journalist Jon Ralston asks whether Nevadans will see any substance during this campaign when so much is at stake?

Nevada II: Silver State lawmakers have approved funding for the official portrait of Gov. Jim Gibbons despite being totally broke.

New Jersey: Gov. Chris Christie says he’s happy in Trenton and isn’t planning on pursuing national ambitions in 2012.

New York: Long-shot GOP guber wannabe Carl Paladino certainly likes controversy. He’s now calling Gov. David Paterson a life-long drug addict.

Ohio: Republican John Kasich may have made a huge strategic blunder by attacking Ted Strickland’s humble beginnings in rural Appalachian Ohio.

Jun
23

Guber Quick Hits, Wed, 6/23/10

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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.

With a new Q-Poll showing AG Andrew Cuomo crushing his potential Republican opponent this fall, the task faces Rick Lazio may seem Herculean.

But here he is trying to chip away at Cuomo’s armor by linking him to the dysfunctional mess that is Albany.

Most polls have shown voters view Cuomo as the state’s best hope at fixing the gridlock in the state capitol. If Lazio can call that ability into question (and today’s Q-Poll does reveal that a majority of voters want Cuomo to provide more details about what he’d do to close the budget gap), he may make this race much closer than it looks today.

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