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 Tennessee

Feb
18

Guber Quick Hits – 2/18/13

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CALIFORNIA: California’s public-worker unions were a powerful and integral partner in helping Gov. Jerry Brown persuade voters to pass his tax hikes last November. The Golden State’s finances are now on a much firmer footing. As he prepares to enter contract negotiations with these workers, will he be able to withstand the unions’ desires to receive an increased share of the state’s treasury?

FLORIDA: Following the death of her husband Bill McBride, it doesn’t look like 2010 Democratic guv nominee Alex Sink is interested in a rematch against Rick Scott.

ILLINOIS: With a recent poll showing incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn languishing at 23% support among Democratic primary voters (and trailing AG Lisa Madigan by 9 points), it shouldn’t be a surprise that a bipartisan roster of big name Illini politicos are lining up to replace him. The most devastating development may be the desertion of his running mate, Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon who doesn’t want to be on the ticket with him. Will anyone?

LOUISIANA: Another day, another quote from Bobby (the intern who wants to be president) Jindal on what ails the Republican Party.

NEBRASKA: Sen. Mike Johanns’s retirement announcement after a single term in DC positions term-limited Governor Dave Heineman as the early front-runner, but don’t be surprised if there’s a contentious GOP primary battle.

NORTH CAROLINA: Pat McCrory, the Tar Heel state’s first Republican governor in two decades (and the first to have a GOP-controlled legislature),will deliver his first State of the State speech tonight. Will he deliver a conservative wish-list or will he attempt to moderate the Tea Party-fueled extremism that fueled legislation in the most recent session?

PENNSYLVANIA: The conventional wisdom is that Rep. Allyson Schwartz is all but certain to jump into the race to challenge embattled Republican Gov. Tom Corbett. Fueled by a DGA poll showing the Democrat leading the incumbent by 8 points and sitting on top of pile of campaign cash put her in a strong position to make Corbett a one-term wonder.

TENNESSEE: Last December, Mother Jones named Tennessee’s GOP-dominated state legislature the nation’s worst (and let’s face it, there was a TON of competition). This year, it seems they want to hold onto the dubious title, as Republican legislators have filed a bevy of states’ rights bills in Nashville.

TENNESSEE II: Gov. Bill Haslam’s school voucher bill is getting mixed reviews.

TEXAS: Every time I see one of these stories about Rick Perry’s extremely cozy relationship with the business community I wonder why there isn’t sustained outrage over his lavish lifestyle, especially if it’s financed with taxpayer money.

WISCONSIN: An editorial from The Cap Times points out that when Scott Walker opted out of Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion last week , he claimed his move would help nearly a quarter of a million Wisconsinites find health insurance coverage and cut the state’s uninsured population by nearly 50%. But the biggest (and cruelest) lie of them all is that he claims that under the health insurance exchanges will be available for $19 a month???!!

EJ Dionne: When Republicans were problem-solvers

On the 2016 trail: Bobby Jindal in St. Louis

Oct
13

Guber Quick Hits, Wed 10/13/10

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Florida: The Republican chair of the Florida Public Service Commission Nancy Argenziano burned more than a few bridges as she left office three months early to endorse Democrat Alex Sink’s guber bid. She didn’t mince words about Rick Scott (he’ll increase energy rates), her fellow Republicans (they’re “clowns”) and the PSC (a “fetid pit”). Just to make sure she’s persona non grata in GOP circles, she also backed Charlie Crist’s indy run for US Senate.

Georgia: Is this too much ‘inside baseball?’ Democrat Roy Barnes is claiming Nathan Deal’s campaign collected contributions from groups of companies and political committees that are affiliated with one  another and each group may legally give only $6,100 per election. The Barnes campaign is demanding Deal return nearly $137K as a result.

Illinois: Vice President Joe Biden spent yesterday campaigning with Gov. Pat Quinn at a rally dubbed “Putting Illinois Back to Work.”

Iowa: Democrats appear to be holding their own in absentee voting, compared with the absentee totals from 2006.

Maryland: Martin O’Malley is one of the Democratic incumbents not afraid to embrace his party’s heritage. Last week, it was President Obama making an appearance at an O’Malley campaign event. Next up is former President Bill Clinton, who will be helping raise money and headlining a Baltimore campaign rally.

Massachusetts: One of Republican challenger Charlie Baker’s central attack lines on Gov. Deval Patrick has been that he’s in the pockets of the state’s labor unions. This might explain why he isn’t trumpeting the endorsement he’s just received from the State Police Association, even though it would burnish the ‘law and order’ credentials politicians often seek.

Tennessee: Front-running Republican Bill Haslam continues pouring his personal fortune into his gubernatorial campaign, while his Democratic rival Mike McWherter isn’t as willing to invest more of his personal wealth into the contest. 

Texas: When does all of this big donor payback stuff begin to hurt Rick Perry among those enraged Tea Party types?

Utah: It appears ads attacking Democratic challenger Peter Corroon have been produced and focused grouped but nixed by Gov. Gary Herbert. One wonders if that simply reveals confidence in the polls showing the incumbent comfortably ahead, or a true desire to take the ethical high road?

Vermont: As tests reveal that radioactive leaks from the aging Vermont Yankee nuclear plant may have contaminated drinking water, Democrat Peter Shumlin is stepping up his demands that the plant owner must move more quickly on cleaning up the damage. He’s trying to make it one of the defining issues between himself and Republican guber nominee Brian Dubie.

Sep
17

Guber Quick Hits, TGIF 9/17/10

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Alaska: Sarah Palin may find it less expensive to go moose hunting if Democrat Ethan Berkowitz becomes Alaska’s next governor. He’s proposing allowing Alaskans to buy lifetime hunting and fishing licenses.

Illinois: Former GOP Gov. Jim Edgar (who hasn’t always had kind words for his party’s current guber pick, Bill Brady) is planning on endorsing Brady against Democrat Pat Quinn.

Kansas: Following a rather informal debate in front of a live audience at the Kansas State Fair between Democrat Tom Holland and Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, it doesn’t seem another debate is in the cards.

Maryland: In a post-primary radio interview, GOP nominee Bob Ehrlich was less-than-gracious in his efforts to unify his base. Will his failure to acknowledge Tea Party fave Brian Murphy as an up-and-comer in the state GOP hurt him among the conservative base in November?

New York: Guber nominee Andrew Cuomo is one of the only Democrats who seems to be in cruise control for the general election. Despite being the heavy favorite, all is not calm in Gotham, as Cuomo is expressing some discomfort over his Democratic colleagues running for comptroller and attorney general.

Rhode Island: Frank Caprio continues his slide toward the right. He’s come out in support of extending all of the Bush tax cuts set to expire, regardless of income.

Tennessee: What would Tennessee politics be without a little Basil for flavor? We don’t have to find out because Basil Marceaux is running as a write-in!

Texas: Rick Perry – that fearless hunter of suburban coyotes – has been endorsed by the NRA.

Wisconsin: Badger State Republicans have fielded the largest field of candidates for the General Assembly in a generation. They’re contesting in 85 of 99 districts, the most since 1986.

Aug
18

Guber Quick Hits, Wed 8/18/10

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Florida: The GOP establishment continues to rally to Bill McCollum’s defense, as Mike Huckabee becomes the latest GOP powerbroker to endorse the embattled candidate.

Massachusetts: GOP guber wannabe Charlie Baker is taken to task over his failure to denounce GOP candidates aligned with the ‘birther’ movement.

Minnesota: The national media has obsessed on stories about Democratic candidates shunning the president when he visits (Roy Barnes in Georgia, Bill White in Texas) and downplayed stories about local candidates like DFL guber nominee Mark Dayton wanting the president to campaign with them.

Pennsylvania: Keystone State Republicans successfully knocked Tea Party guber wannabe John Krupa from the November ballot but the Libertarian hopeful says she’s confident she can withstand the GOP’s signature challenge.

Tennessee: GOP guber nominee Bill Haslam may be getting the NASCAR vote (weren’t NASCAR dads a cherished demographic in a recent election cycle?) as he picked up the endorsement of NASCAR legend Darrell Waltrip.

Vermont: Progressives have been blamed for handing Republican candidates the governorship in recent elections. A group of leading Progressives have publicly endorsed the candidacy of Democrat Doug Racine.

Aug
12

Guber Quick Hits, Thurs 8/12/10

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California: San Diego Charges owner Alex Spanos – a longtime GOP donor – has donated $20,000 to Democrat Jerry Brown’s guber campaign. The donation is even more unusual considering Brown opposed Spanos in a 2008 land use dispute in Stockton.

Colorado: It says a lot about the current state of Republican politics when Tom Tancredo sounds like the voice of reason on immigration policy.

Maryland: Incumbent Martin O’Malley’s campaign war chest dwarfs that of Bob Ehrlich. The Democrat has $6.7 million in the bank while the Republican is hoping to have about $3 million for the upcoming rematch of their 2006 campaign.

Nevada: Tired of his GOP opponent Brian  (“my kids look American”) Sandoval ducking debates, Rory (“I ain’t no Senator’s Son”) Reid forces an impromptu debate at a candidate luncheon.

New York: The bumbling in Albany continues, as Gov. David Paterson signed the wrong budget earlier this month.

Tennessee: Democratic guber wannabe Mike McWherter is accusing GOP nominee Bill Haslam of ‘ducking debates.’ Since this happens in nearly every race where there is a perceived front-runner, is this news?

Vermont: Democratic guber hopeful Matt Dunne’s latest TV ad includes a photo of the candidate with longtime Democratic Senator Pat Leahy but the senator’s office denies the appearance is an endorsement of any kind. The liberal icon is remaining neutral in the five-way Democratic primary.

Wisconsin: Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge endorsed Scott Walker in the GOP primary saying the Milwaukee County Executive has “a proven record of leadership.”

Jul
28

Guber Quick Hits, Wed 7/28/10

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California: Less than a month after ending furloughs for state workers, the Governator is bringing them back saying they’re here to stay until there’s a budget deal, which is now 28 days late.

Kentucky: Bluegrass State voters won’t be voting for governor until 2011, but Republicans are jockeying for position to take on Democrat Steve Beshear despite his impressive $2 million campaign warchest.

Maine: A minor skirmish has broken out over comments Republican Paul LePage made that were interpreted as a slam on Democratic nominee Libby Mitchell’s age.

Oklahoma: Could a last-minute endorsement by legendary football coach Barry Switzer have powered Lt. Gov. Jari Askins’ surprising victory over front-runner Drew Edmondson in the Democratic primary?

South Carolina: Democrat Vincent Sheheen is beefing up his campaign team as he ramps up his effort to defeat the Palmetto Mama Grizzly, Nikki Haley.

Tennessee: As one of his opponents walks back talk of secession and another tries to explain what he meant when he called Islam a “cult,” Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam announces a long slate of elected officials from across Tennessee who are supporting his gubernatorial run. He’s the best-financed and leading in all the polls – will sanity prevail on election day?

Another Republican has gone back to the Rove/Giuliani mid-decade playbook. A couple of weeks ago it was Rick Lazio demagoguing about the mosque in Lower Manhattan.

Now, it’s Tennessee Lt. Gov Ron Ramsey who has taken the “terrorist under every turban” mantra a step further by questioning whether or not Islam is a “cult.”  Trailing Bill Haslam and secessionist C Streeter Zach Wamp in next week’s GOP primary, Ramsey is desperately trying to gain traction among the GOP base.

Someone needs to point out that Rudy Giuliani’s “9/11, verb, 9/11″ shtick didn’t work in 2008. Why do they think it might work now?

Categories : Tennessee, Terrorism
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Jul
24

Pollapalooza Saturday

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Arizona: Accidental Governor Jan Brewer continues her demagoguing ways straight to a gubernatorial victory  in her own right. A survey from  Razzmattazz Reports that Brewer has opened nearly a 20-point lead over AG Terry Goddard who has seen his chances of winning the governor’s office slip as the governor’s national profile has risen as she’s become the GOP’s barricade the borders leader. (Polling conducted 7/21, 500 AZ Likely Voters, MoE +/- 4.5%)

Florida: While it’s not exactly a poll of the guber contest, it may have implications if Bud Chiles’ third party bid begins to gain traction. According to RazzleDazzle, 41% of Floridians are more likely to vote for an Independent this fall.

Rhode Island: Now that the Democrats have a presumptive nominee in Frank Caprio after Patrick Lynch abandoned his guber bid, RazzleDazzle Reports has the first polling out and finds that Linc Chafee still wins in each 3-way scenario. (Polling conducted 7/21, 500 RI Likely Voters, MoE +/- 4.5%)

Tennessee: Mason-Dixon has a poll of the GOP gubernatorial primary showing that the contest appears to be Nashville Mayor Bill Haslam’s to lose. He leads his two main rivals, Rep. Zach Wamp and state Sen. Ron Ramsey by double digits. The race (Polling conducted 7/19-7/21, 400 TN GOP Likely Voters, MoE +/- 5%)

Jul
24

Guber Quick Hits, Sat 7/24/10

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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.

Jul
11

Guber Quick Hits, Sun 7/11/10

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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.