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 Ohio


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.


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.


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.

The DGA has another ad out bashing John Kasich over his Lehman Brothers tenure.

It’s a pretty simple message – John Kasich got rich while Ohio’s middle class lost millions. But that’s OK, Kasich has God on his side.

Categories : AdMonitor, Ohio
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Guber Quick Hits, Mon 6/14/10

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Connecticut: Former Stamford Mayor Dannell Malloy has failed to win the support of the Nutmeg State’s big city Democratic mayors who have all endorsed Ned Lamont’s primary bid.

Florida: Gov. Charlie Crist continued his independent march to the middle with Friday’s veto of a controversial abortion bill. The Miami Herald reports how the decision not only enraged his former allies on the right, but also his former opponents on the left.

Hawaii: Linda Lingle is consulting spiritual advisers as she contemplates the civil unions sitting on her desk.

Iowa: Following through on a promise made during the heat of the GOP gubernatorial primary campaign, the Iowa Family Policy Council has announced it will sit out the general election campaign between GOP nominee Terry Branstad and Democratic incumbent Chet Culver.

Iowa II: Fueled by a competitive gubernatorial primary and a crowded field in the 3rd Congressional district race, Republican voter participation rose to levels not seen since 1994.

Maryland: Former Governor Bob Ehrlich is promising to join the anti-health care reform lawsuits if he defeats Martin O’Malley.

Nevada: A ballot drive to amend the state constitution in order to raise the state’s mining taxes has failed to acquire enough valid signatures to make it onto November’s ballot. The failure to get an initiative designed to address the state’s inadequate tax structure before voters makes it even more difficult to imagine how the next governor will address the state’s fiscal crisis.

Ohio: The NRA endorsed Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland in the gubernatorial contest. Four years ago, the powerful gun lobby remained neutral in Strickland’s 2006 race against Ted Blackwell.

Pennsylvania: Keystone Republicans gathered in Hershey over the weekend for their post-primary group hug, the Morning Call’s John Micek reports. A stumbling block for guber nominee Tom Corbett remains. Sam Rohrer has yet to join forces with the Corbett camp, undermining their unity efforts.

Texas: Many Lone Star State political observers are predicting Rick Perry will dodge the debate bullet and avoid taking stage with Democrat Bill White in their gubernatorial contest.

Vermont: Democrat Doug Racine has brought on a veteran political mind familiar to most Vermonters for his role in propelling former Gov. Howard Dean to national prominence in 2004.


Guber Quick Hits, Tues 6/1/10

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Maryland: The BP oil spill has reignited the offshore drilling debate in the guber race between Martin O’Malley and Bob Ehrlich. O’Malley is pointing to the ecological and economic disaster in the Gulf as further evidence against increased drilling, especially near the environmentally sensitive Chesapeake Bay. Ehrlich, while not advocating drilling off Maryland’s shoreline, does argue in support of Alaskan drilling.

New York: Rick Lazio won the Conservative Party nod over the weekend – barely getting over 50% - and could face a primary challenge from Erie County’s Ralph Lorigo, an ally of Carl Paladino. The infighting within the GOP circles in New York make is seem inconceivable they might come together this fall and actually mount a credible campaign against Andrew Cuomo.

Ohio: GOP guber wannabe John Kasich has a new book he wants you to know about. Every Other Monday is touted “as an honest look at how to build faith find solace, even during the most heart-breaking circumstances, and offers a template for reconsidering how we make everyday choices as well as life-changing decisions.” Who would’ve thought the former Fox News  personality had a Deepak Chopra hidden inside? Perhaps he discovered these profound insights while pocketing millions during his time at Lehman Brothers?

South Dakota: Democrat SD House Minority Leader Scott Heidepriem launched his campaign last week, stressing his independence from partisan ideology, vowing to cut the size of state government and promising to never raise taxes. In a display that national Democrats view Heidepriem as a viable candidates, the DGA has donated $50K to his campaign. Today he followed in the steps of Utah Democrat Peter Corroon who picked a GOP Light Guv running mate by selecting Republican businessman and political newcomer Ben Arndt.

Wyoming: Billing herself as a “Freudenthal Democrat,” Wyoming Democratic Chairwoman Leslie Peterson filed campaign papers at the very last possible minute last Friday. Party leaders say her candidacy gives Cowboy State Democrats “a candidate who can galvanize political support statewide.”


Guber Quick Hits, Mon 5/31/10

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Arizona: Guber hopeful and state Treasurer Dean Martin doesn’t want to see Jan Brewer run away with the GOP nod on the back of her immigration crackdown. He’s trying to gain some of the anti-immigrant furor by announcing a new fund to raise money from private citizens to build a Border Fence along Arizona’s border.

California: The Los Angeles Times points out that no matter what they say, the Silicon Kids sound an awful lot like the man they want to replace in Sacramento.

Colorado: Insurgent Republican guber wannabe (and recently endorsed by the GOP assembly) Dan Maes has taken Rand Paul a step further. He’s promising to refuse all federal money if elected governor. Yup, that’s the way to win over swing voters.

Colorado II: GOP establishment-backed guber hopeful Scott McInnis, meanwhile appears to be alienating some of the grassroots activists. His desperate groveling for the endorsement from the local 9.12 Project leaders smacks of desperation.

Florida: Rick Scott has swept into Florida’s GOP gubernatorial contest with the fury of a Cat 5 hurricane. He’s saturated the state’s airwaves with commercials and seen his poll numbers soar. At his first public appearance, it was clear he’s not going to be able to simply whitewash away his past, as a live audience of young Republicans was skeptical about his explanation regarding the fraud that took place while he was CEO of Columbia/HCA.

New Mexico: Allen Weh loans another $600K to campaign bringing the total investment he’s made in his effort to win tomorrow’s GOP gubernatorial primary to $1.6 million. It may be peanuts to what MegaBucks Whitman is spending in California, but there’s not even 2 million people living in the entire state.

Ohio: The RGA is running an ad that alludes to officials lying about an aborted “sting” of work-release inmates working at the Governor’s residence. In a sign that it may be hurting him poltically, Gov. Ted Strickland’s office recently announced the suspension of the program.

Pennsylvania: Fearful that a local “served drinks tax” levied by Dan Onorato in Allegheny County may spread across the state if he becomes governor, Keystone State restaurants are including a message about the “Onorato tax” on receipts warning customers about the Democrat’s agenda.

Democrats clearly think they’ve got a winning issue against John Kasich. His tenure at Lehman Brothers continues to be the topic of Buckeye State campaign ads.

This time, it’s Building a Stronger Ohio, a DGA-backed independent expenditure group who asks the viewer a simple question, “Ask John Kasich to explain how he got rich on Wall Street.”

Categories : AdMonitor, Ohio
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Here comes Haley and the RGA again.

A casual conversation between two voters (in a diner of all places) discussing Ted Strickland’s failure to do his job. They discuss the lost jobs, the “screwed up” budget and conclude the state’s a mess. Because Strickland hasn’t done his job, he had no choice to attack John Kasich.

Nice, southern-style skewering from Haley Barbour.

It’s such a deft, smile-while-you-stick-the-knife-in maneuver that you might not even recognize it as an attack ad.

Skillfully played.

Categories : AdMonitor, Ohio
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Did Kasich Dodge a Lehman Bullet?

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Will John Kasich be able to distance himself from his Lehman Brothers days?

The Columbus Dispatch reports:

Kasich campaign officials acknowledged that the former congressman helped arrange the two meetings between Lehman officials and representatives of the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund and the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System, known as OPERS.

Kasich campaign officials said in a statement that “these meetings did not result in business for Lehman Brothers, and John earned no commission from this or any other public sector business.” Kasich never approached any other Ohio governmental entity about doing business with Lehman, the campaign said.

According to the state, five Ohio pension funds lost anywhere between $221 and $480 million when Lehman went bankrupt in late 2008. If I’m on the Kasich team, I’m thanking the political gods the Ohio pension officials were smart enough to walk on by the Lehman sales pitch. If they hadn’t, the losses would have been even worse – and Kasich’s fingerprints would have been all the place. It’s bad enough that state employees life savings were hapless victims of his former employer’s irresponsible mismanagement.

On the other hand, what does it say about Kasich’s networking skills and rainmaking ability that he wasn’t able to get the right people together to make a deal? Isn’t that the skill set that would have enticed Lehman to hire him in the first place? And, isn’t that what Ohioans should be looking for in a chief executive as the state tries to rebound economically?

Categories : Economy, Ohio
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