on this day … 3/15 1989 – The FDA decided to impound all fruit imported from Chili after two cyanide-tainted grapes were found in Philadelphia, PA.


44 BC – Roman Emperor Julius Caesar was assassinated by high ranking Roman Senators. The day is known as the “Ides of March.”

 

1341 – During the Hundred Years War, an alliance was signed between Roman Emperor Louis IV and France’s Philip VI.

1493 – Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first New World voyage.

1778 – In command of two frigates, the Frenchman la Perouse sailed east from Botany Bay for the last lap of his voyage around the world.

1781 – During the American Revolution, the Battle of Guilford Courthouse took place in North Carolina. British General Cornwallis’ 1,900 soldiers defeated an American force of 4,400.

1820 – Maine was admitted as the 23rd state of the Union.

1862 – General John Hunt Morgan began four days of raids near the city of Gallatin, TN.

1864 – Red River Campaign began as the Union forces reach Alexandria, LA.

1875 – The Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York, John McCloskey, was named the first American cardinal.

1877 – The first cricket test between Australia and England was played in Melbourne. Australia won by 45 runs.

1892 – New York State unveiled the new automatic ballot voting machine.

1892 – Jesse W. Reno patented the Reno Inclined Elevator. It was the first escalator.

1900 – In Paris, Sarah Bernhardt starred in the premiere of Edmond Rostand’s “L’Aiglon.”

1901 – German Chancellor von Bulow declared that an agreement between Russia and China over Manchuria would violate the Anglo-German accord of October 1900.

1902 – In Boston, MA, 10,000 freight handlers went back to work after a weeklong strike.

1903 – The British conquest of Nigeria was completed. 500,000 square miles were now controlled by the U.K.

1904 – Three hundred Russians were killed as the Japanese shelled Port Arthur in Korea.

1907 – In Finland, woman won their first seats in the Finnish Parliament. They took their seats on May 23.

1909 – Italy proposed a European conference on the Balkans.

1910 – Otto Kahn offered $500,000 for a family portrait by Dutch artist Frans Hals. Kahn had outbid J.P. Morgan for the work.

1913 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson held the first open presidential news conference.

1916 – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson sent 12,000 troops, under General Pershing, over the border of Mexico to pursue bandit Pancho Villa. The mission failed.

1917 – Russian Czar Nicholas II abdicated himself and his son. His brother Grand Duke succeeded as czar.

1919 – The American Legion was founded in Paris.

1922 – Fuad I assumed the title of king of Egypt after the country gained nominal independence from Britain.

1934 – Henry Ford restored the $5 a day wage.

1935 – Joseph Goebbels, German Minister of Propaganda banned four Berlin newspapers.

1937 – In Chicago, IL, the first blood bank to preserve blood for transfusion by refrigeration was established at the Cook County Hospital.

1938 – Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.

1939 – German forces occupied Bohemia and Moravia, and part of Czechoslovakia.

1944 – Cassino, Italy, was destroyed by Allied bombing.

1946 – British Premier Attlee offered India full independence after agreement on a constitution.

1948 – Sir Laurence Olivier was on the cover of “LIFE” magazine for his starring role in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet.”

1949 – Clothes rationing in Great Britain ended nearly four years after the end of World War II.

1951 – General de Lattre demanded that Paris send him more troops for the fight in Vietnam.

1951 – The Persian parliament voted to nationalize the oil industry.

1954 – CBS television debuted its “Morning Show.”

1955 – The U.S. Air Force unveiled a self-guided missile.

1956 – The musical “My Fair Lady” opened on Broadway.

1960 – Ten nations met in Geneva to discuss disarmament.

1960 – The first underwater park was established as Key Largo Coral Reef Preserve.

1964 – In Montreal, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were married.

1968 – The U.S. mint halted the practice of buying and selling gold.

1970 – The musical “Purlie” opened on Broadway in New York City.

1971 – CBS television announced it was going to drop “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

1977 – The first episode of “Eight is Enough” was aired on ABC-TV.

1977 – The U.S. House of Representatives began a 90-day test to determine the feasibility of showing its sessions on television.

1979 – Pope John Paul II published his first encyclical “Redemptor Hominis.” In the work he warned of the growing gap between the rich and poor.

1982 – Nicaragua’s ruling junta proclaimed a month-long state of siege and suspended the nation’s constitution for one day. This came a day after anti-government rebels destroyed two bridges near the Honduran border.

1985 – In Brazil, two decades of military rule came to an end with the installation of a civilian government.

1989 – The U.S. Food and Drug administration decided to impound all fruit imported from Chili after two cyanide-tainted grapes were found in Philadelphia, PA.

1989 – The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs became the 14th Department in the President’s Cabinet.

1990 – In Iraq, British journalist Farzad Bazoft was hanged for spying.

1990 – Mikhail Gorbachev was elected the first executive president of the Soviet Union.

1990 – The Ford Explorer was introduced to the public.

1990 – The Soviet parliament ruled that Lithuania’s declaration of independence was invalid and that Soviet law was still in force in the Baltic republic.

1991 – Four Los Angeles police officers were indicted in the beating of Rodney King on March 3, 1991. (California)

1991 – Yugoslav President Borisav Jovic resigned after about a week of anit-communist protests.

1994 – U.S. President Clinton extended the moratorium on nuclear testing until September of 1995.

1996 – The aviation firm Fokker NV collapsed.

1998 – More than 15,000 ethnic Albanians marched in Yugoslavia to demand independence for Kosovo.

1998 – CBS’ “60 Minutes” aired an interview with former White House employee Kathleen Willey. Wiley said U.S. President Clinton made unwelcome sexual advances toward her in the Oval Office in 1993.

2002 – Libyan Abdel Baset Ali Mohmed Al-Megrahi began his life sentence in a Scottish jail for his role in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 on December 21, 1988.

2002 – In the U.S., Burger King began selling a veggie burger. The event was billed as the first veggie burger to be sold nationally by a fast food chain.

2002 – In Texas, Andrea Yates received a life sentence for drowning her five children on June 20, 2001.

2002 – U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told the Associated Press that the U.S. would stand by a 24-year pledge not to use nuclear arms against states that don’t have them.

2004 – Clive Woodall’s novel “One for Sorrow: Two for Joy” was published. Two days later Woodall sold the film rights to Walt Disney Co. for $1 million.
Disney movies, music and books

Court strikes down Texas’ GOP-drawn congressional map for racial gerrymandering


TX Redistricting: Late on Friday, a federal district court finally issued its long-awaited ruling in the lawsuit over Texas’ Republican-drawn congressional map (shown here). The court delivered a major victory for voting rights when it struck down several districts for violating the Voting Rights Act and the Equal Protections Clause, holding that they were intentionally racially discriminatory. This ruling could result in a new map being used in the 2018 elections that would contain additional districts where Latino voters could elect their candidate preference, and Democrats could consequently gain seats.

The court struck down several districts where Republicans had either diluted Latino voting strength so that Anglo candidates could win, or where Republicans had packed Latino voters to prevent them from electing their candidate choice in neighboring seats. A redrawn map could consequently see considerable changes to the invalidated 23rd District, which spans from El Paso to San Antonio, the 27th, which covers Corpus Christi and Victoria, and the 35th, which stretches from Austin to San Antonio, along with neighboring seats. Such adjustments could subsequently see a Latino Democrat oust Republican incumbents Will Hurd and Blake Farenthold in the 23rd and 27th, respectively.

The judges additionally faulted Republicans for abusing race when drawing districts in the greater Dallas area, but did not specifically indicate that they would require Republican legislators to draw a new district to elect a Latino candidate. Plaintiffs will undoubtedly press the court to impose such a requirement when they argue for the appropriate remedy. Indeed, Daily Kos Elections itself has previously demonstrated how Republicans could have drawn another seat that would elect Latino voters’ candidate choice in Dallas at the expense of an Anglo Republican, in addition to making the aforementioned GOP-held 23rd and 27th heavily Latino.

Crucially, the court’s finding that Republicans intentionally discriminated could be grounds for placing Texas back under Justice Department “preclearance” for voting law changes under the Voting Rights Act. Several predominantly Southern states with a history of discriminatory voting laws previously had to preclear any such changes until the Supreme Court gutted a key provision of the VRA in 2013. While a Jeff Sessions-led Justice Department is unlikely to block new oppressive voting laws, a future Democratic administration could.

Absurdly, this case has been ongoing ever since 2011, and litigants completed their arguments all the way back in 2014. Plaintiffs had rightly been outraged that the court was dragging its feet on issuing its ruling. Republicans have gotten away with an illegal racial gerrymander for a majority of this decade, demonstrating how it pays to illegally gerrymander, since the court of course can’t invalidate the last three election results held under the existing map.

Republican legislators will assuredly appeal this ruling to the Supreme Court. However, given a string of recent victories against Republican racial gerrymandering, there is a strong likelihood that the court will uphold part or even all of this decision, meaning Texas could have a new congressional map for 2018. Should the courts impose a remedy that makes the 23rd and 27th districts capable of electing Latino voters’ candidate preference, Democrats could gain at least two additional seats next year thanks to redistricting.

Senate

DE-Sen:  Democratic Sen. Tom Carper will be 71 on Election Day and he hasn’t announced his 2018 plans yet, but he seems to be leaning towards seeking another term. Carper recently told the National Journal that he did consider retiring when he thought Hillary Clinton would win, but under Trump, “I am probably more energized right now than I’ve been in 16 years.” Carper did not commit to anything, though he says he’d run if he had to decide now. If Carper does leave the Senate, there are a number of Democrats who might eye his seat, but he’s unlikely to face any credible primary or general election opposition if he wants a fourth term.

IN-Sen: GOP Rep. Luke Messer has signaled that he plans to run against Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly next year, though Messer recently insisted to Howey Politics that he’ll make a final decision in a couple of months. However, one of Messer’s colleagues is also coveting the same seat. Rep. Todd Rokita expressed interest a little while ago, and his political strategist makes it sound like he’s likely to go for it. Howey also reports that Rokita has been touting a mid-2016 poll that showed him “within 5 percent of Donnelly” to unnamed GOP insiders.

As we’ve noted before, Rokita doesn’t seem to have a great relationship with those GOP insiders, though. Last year, after Mike Pence ended his re-election campaign in order to serve as Trump’s running mate, Rokita entered the race to take his spot as Team Red’s gubernatorial nominee. Since the primary had passed, the 22-member state party central committee chose the new nominee, and Rokita reportedly won just two votes.

Other Republicans may also be eyeing this seat. Howey says that state Sen. Mike Delph, ex-Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, and Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke are all considering, though there’s no other information about their thinking. However, Winnecke did announce last week that he would run for re-election in 2019, and he hasn’t shown any interest in leaving before then. When the mayor was asked if he saw himself running for another office last week, Winnecke said that “I don’t see myself in terms of public service being anything else.”

Delph, who thought about running for the Senate in 2016, is a far-right politician who is not liked by the state GOP establishment. Ballard may be his exact opposite, and if he could do well in Democratic-leaning Indianapolis in a general, he’d be tough to beat. But Ballard’s relatively liberal social positions (he once served as grand marshal of Indianapolis’ LGBTQ parade) could hold him back in a primary. Ballard also left the door open to challenging Pence in the 2016 primary when the governor was still running for re-election, which could also cause him problems now that Pence is more powerful than ever.

Gubernatorial

AL-Gov: Republican state Auditor Jim Zeigler has been one of scandal-tarred Gov. Robert Bentley’s biggest intra-party critics, and he recently earned some attention when he filed a lawsuit to try and force the state to hold a special election for the United States Senate sooner than November of 2018. Zeigler has also been one of the loudest voices in the GOP to speak out against Bentley’s decision to appoint then-state Attorney General Luther Strange, whose office was investigating Bentley for allegedly using state resources to conceal an affair, to the Senate. Bentley is termed-out in 2018, though he may leave a lot earlier if the legislature removes him, and Zeigler confirms he’s interested in running to replace him. In fact, Zeigler is currently hawking his new book, unsubtly titled, “The Making of the People’s Governor 2018.”

Zeigler did not give any timeline for when he expects to decide, though he says that “people’s response” to his book will help him make up his mind. But if that book is any indication, he’s very likely to go for it: The tome’s description states that, “Several of the usual suspects ran for governor with no track records of having stood up against the abuses of the Bentley administration. But one candidate had stood up in the Bentley years and, in 2018, stood out from the rest.” Why, which candidate could that be?

Zeigler has run for office several times in the past, and earned the nickname “Mr. 49 percent” for narrowly falling short. Zeigler had a reputation for picking fights with powerful Alabamians, but in the 2014 auditor primary runoff, he got to face a very different type of politician. Zeigler’s opponent in that fateful race was none other than the one and only Dale Peterson, who ran the classic “thugs and criminals” ad during his unsuccessful 2010 bid for state agriculture commissioner; while Peterson only took third in the GOP primary, he became an internet star and inspired a very funny parody. But Peterson’s second campaign was nowhere near as fun as his first, and he lost the auditor runoff to Zeigler 65-35.

A number of other Alabama Republicans have talked about running for this office. We’ve heard interest from Jefferson County Commissioner David Carrington; Troy University Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr.; Mark Johnston, who led a large Episcopal camp; state Senate President Del Marsh; and former Auburn University football coach Tommy Tuberville. Rep. Bradley Byrne, who lost the 2010 runoff to Bentley, and twice-disgraced former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore also haven’t said no.

Several other GOP politicians haven’t said anything publicly, though they continue to be mentioned as possible contenders, including Secretary of State John Merrill; Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey (who would assume the powers of the governor if the state House impeaches Bentley, and become governor if he resigns or is convicted by the state Senate); and state Treasurer Young Boozer. The Alabama Political Report also mentions Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan, who was the guy who ultimately won that fateful race that Dale Peterson lost. If nothing else, McMillan got a small piece of eternal fame when Peterson created a second commercial for the runoff where he endorsed McMillan and fired his gun at someone who tried to steal a McMillan yard sign.

CA-Gov: Republicans may get a candidate for governor… just probably not one they’re especially excited about. Ex-Assemblyman David Hadley has formed an exploratory committee, and he says he’ll decide in the next two months. Hadley actually does have experience running in competitive races: In 2014, Hadley narrowly unseated Democratic Assemblyman Al Muratsuchi in a race for a Torrance seat, but he lost their expensive rematch 54-46. Businessman John Cox is already in, and he contributed $1 million to his campaign. But in a state this expensive, $1 million for a statewide campaign is sort of like a candidate in Vermont announcing that he’ll spend $14,000 of his own money. Republicans are still holding out hope that San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer will run, but he’s sent only mixed signals about his level of interest.

CO-Gov: It looks like we’ll only need to keep track of one Salazar at the most in next year’s open gubernatorial race. Democratic state Rep. Joe Salazar, who was a prominent Bernie Sanders’ supporter in Colorado, spent a few months flirting with running to succeed termed-out Gov. John Hickenlooper, but he’s announced that he will run for attorney general instead. Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman is herself a possible candidate for governor, though she hasn’t said anything publicly. Ex-Sen. Ken Salazar, who doesn’t appear to be related to Joe Salazar, is one of several Democrats mulling a bid for the governor’s office.

GA-Gov: The GOP may have their first declared candidate soon. The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reports that Secretary of State Brian Kemp will run, though they say it’s not clear when he will make an announcement. A number of other Peach State Republicans are considering.

MD-Gov: Last week, Maryland Matters reported that Alec Ross, a former State Department senior adviser for innovation, was considering seeking the Democratic nod to face GOP Gov. Larry Hogan. Ross confirmed his interest to Politico, and says he’ll decide “in the next month.” A number of other Old Line State Democrats have talked about challenging Hogan, who has polled well during the first half of his governorship.

NJ-Gov: A few days ago, Clinton-era Undersecretary of the Treasury Jim Johnson launched what his campaign says is a seven-figure cable and internet buy. Johnson’s minute-long ad emphasizes his humble origins and how his family almost lost their home during an economic downturn. Johnson then blames political insiders for not helping regular people. Johnson is a longshot in June’s Democratic primary against establishment favorite Phil Murphy, a former ambassador to Germany and Goldman Sachs executive. However, Johnson is the only Murphy primary opponent who has raised enough money to qualify for the state’s two-for-one matching funds, and he may be the best positioned to benefit if the frontrunner stumbles.

NY-Gov: Pretty much from the moment that Donald Trump fired Preet Bharara as part of a large purge of Obama-era U.S. attorneys, speculation began that Bharara could challenge Gov. Andrew Cuomo in next year’s Democratic primary. However, unnamed people tell Politico that they’ve never heard Bharara show any interest in running for elected office. Bharara himself did take a shot at Cuomo on Twitter shortly after he was sacked, but running against the governor in what would be an incredibly expensive race is another thing altogether.

OH-Gov: On Monday, ex-state Rep. Connie Pillich announced that she would seek the Democratic nod to succeed termed-out GOP Gov. John Kasich. Pillich represented a competitive Cincinnati-area seat for three terms, and she won her last term in 2012 52-44 as Romney was carrying her district 51-48. Two years later, Pillich was Team Blue’s nominee against Treasurer Josh Mandel, who took a sabbatical from running for the Senate to seek re-election. Pillich’s 57-43 loss was better than the rest of the statewide ticket, which speaks volumes about how awful 2014 was for Ohio Democrats. Pillich joins state Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni and ex-U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton in the primary.

House

NE-02: According to attorney Ann Ferlic Ashford, ex-Rep. Brad Ashford has ruled out seeking a rematch with Republican Rep. Don Bacon, who unseated him 49-48 last year. However, Ashford says she’s interested in picking up where her husband left off and challenging Bacon in this Omaha-based seat, which Trump carried 48-46. Ashford says she’ll decide on whether she’ll seek the Democratic nomination in the spring.

Ashford has identified as a Republican for most of her life, and her father, Randy Ferlic, served on the University of Nebraska Board of Regents as a Republican. Ashford has only run for office once, losing a nonpartisan 2012 contest to succeed her father to GOP ex-Omaha Mayor Hal Daub by a 53-47 margin. This seat is likely to be a Democratic target next year, and there may be other Omaha Democrats interested in running.

SC-05: Filing closed on Monday for the special election to succeed Republican Mick Mulvaney, who resigned to become Trump’s budget chief. Trump carried this northern seat, which includes Rock Hill, by a 57-39 margin, and the GOP nominee should have little trouble holding it on June 20. The party primaries will be May 2, and there will be a May 16 runoff in contests where no one took a majority of the vote.

There were no last-minute surprises before the filing deadline. On the GOP side, the candidates are ex-state party head Chad Connelly; Sheri Few, a prominent state opponent of Common Core education standards who took a close third place in the 2014 primary for superintendent of education; attorney Tom Mullikin, the commander of the all-volunteer S.C. State Guard; ex-state Rep. Ralph Norman, who lost a 2006 bid for this seat to Democratic incumbent John Spratt; state House Speaker Pro Temp Tommy Pope; attorney Kris Wampler; and Ray Craig, who took 21 percent against Mulvaney in a quixotic 2016 primary race. On the Democratic side, former Goldman Sachs senior advisor Archie Parnell faces Les Murphy, a veteran who works with a local veterans’ non-profit, as well as one other candidate.

Mayoral

Atlanta, GA Mayor: We have our first poll of the non-partisan November race to succeed termed-out Democratic Mayor Kasim Reed. In a survey for WSB-TV, local GOP pollsters Landmark Communications and Rosetta Stone have City Councilor Mary Norwood, who lost the 2009 runoff to Reed by 714 votes, taking first place with 29 percent. In the very likely event that no one takes a majority, there will be a runoff, and it’s a muddled field for second:

City Councilor Mary Norwood: 29

State Sen. Vincent Ford: 9

City Councilor Keisha Lance Bottoms: 9

City Council President Ceasar Mitchell: 8

Ex-City Council President Cathy Woolard: 6

City Councilor Kwanza Hall: 6

Fulton County Commission Chair John Eaves: 4

Ex-Atlanta chief operating officer Peter Aman: 2

Ex-Atlanta Workforce Development Agency head Michael Sterling was not tested. Most of the candidates are Democrats, though Norwood identifies as an independent.

 

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, and Stephen Wolf, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, and James Lambert.

To advertise in the Morning Digest, please contact advertise@dailykos.com.

To run or not to run… that is no longer the question for Ron Kind


WI-Gov, WI-03: On Friday, Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Ron Kind announced that he will not run for governor next year and will instead seek re-election to the House. Kind frequently flirts with seeking statewide office but, like Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, never actually goes for it.

Kind’s decision will likely be greeted with relief by House Democrats, since his 3rd District swung from 55-44 Obama to 49-45 Trump and could have been tough to defend without him. However, Democrats looking to take down GOP Gov. Scott Walker, who is likely to run for re-election in 2018, probably won’t be so happy. Democrats consistently do well in Madison and Milwaukee, but having a candidate who can also carry areas like Kind’s southwest Wisconsin seat could make all the difference between a statewide win and a statewide loss.

While Democrats would absolutely love to defeat Walker, it’s far from clear who they’ll run. Ex-state Sen. Tim Cullen recently said that he’s likely to get in, but Cullen is a weak fundraiser who has pissed off plenty of Democrats over the years. (Walker once called him “pretty reasonable” in what he thought was a private conversation, which may be the kiss of death in a primary.) State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout is considering, and like Kind, she hails from a rural area that swung from Obama to Trump. But Vinehout won just 4 percent of the vote in the 2012 primary to face Walker in the recall election, so she may not have what it takes to run a tough race.

Joe Parisi, the executive of Madison’s Dane County, didn’t rule out a run for governor all the way back in May, but he doesn’t appear to have said anything since then. Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ, who lost the 2014 attorney general race 52-45, has set up social media accounts ahead of an unnamed statewide bid. The Associated Press also says that Assemblyman Dana Wachs, who like Kind and Vinehout represents Eau Claire, is considering, but he doesn’t seem to have said so publicly yet. It’s possible that, now that Kind has made his plans clear, some of these people will make their own plans clear, and other names may come onto the radar as well.

Whoever steps up to challenge Walker, assuming he goes ahead and seeks a third term, won’t have an easy time beating him. Despite his failed 2016 presidential bid, Walker is a tough campaigner, and he will have all the money he could possibly need. But polls last year showed Walker with a weak approval rating, and if the GOP suffers the midterm backlash the president’s party usually suffers, the governor will probably feel it. It’s very likely that national Democrats will target Walker, but it may be a while before the Democratic field takes form.

Senate

CA-Sen: On Thursday night, Politico reported that there was “increasing buzz in state Republican circles” that ex-GOP Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was interested in challenging California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein next year. Schwarzenegger’s spokesman did nothing to dispel the chatter, saying that, “Right now Gov. Schwarzenegger’s focus is on using his platform to bring some sensibility and coherency to Washington by fighting for redistricting reform, like we did in California. We are keeping all of our options open as far as how we can accomplish that.”

Schwarzenegger waited until Sunday to put out a statement saying that, while he was “deeply flattered” he was being asked to run, he was instead focused on redistricting reform, though he didn’t actually outright say he would not run for the Senate. Democrats will certainly be happy if this is the last thing they ever hear about a Schwarzenegger for Senate campaign. While he would have a very tough time winning, Team Blue would be horrified if they had to spend any money in this extremely expensive state.

NV-Sen, NV-Gov, NV-04: Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen only took office two months ago, but he had quickly been talked up for higher office, including a potential Senate race against Republican Sen. Dean Heller. Now, the congressman isn’t ruling anything out when asked if he might run for another position in 2018 like governor. Kihuen told the Nevada Independent that he doesn’t “have any other political posts in sight,” but left the door open by qualifying his response with “right now.” If Kihuen does seek a promotion, he would leave behind a light-blue seat north of Las Vegas that voted just 49-45 for Hillary Clinton, which Democrats could have an easier time holding if the incumbent stays put.

Kihuen wouldn’t be the first newly elected House member to turn around and seek higher office during his first term though, and he might simply not want to appear overly ambitious by announcing so early in the cycle. However, waiting until closer to 2018 to jump in could let other Democratic candidates running for Senate or the open governor’s seat get a head start. No major Democrats have entered either race yet, but fellow Rep. Dina Titus is considering a Senate run, while Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak is mulling a gubernatorial bid.

Gubernatorial

CO-Gov: Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper faces term limits in 2018, and quite a few names have surfaced as potential GOP candidates to succeed him. Republican state Treasurer Walker Stapleton had not said anything before about launching a bid, but when asked at a recent event if he were planning on running for governor, Stapleton replied “not anytime soon,” which of course isn’t a no. Stapleton has been in office since 2011 and will face term limits himself in 2018, so he might be looking at the governor’s office for his next gig. Stapleton also recently headlined a rally calling for congressional term-limits and appeared at an event for the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity group, so he seems to be trying to get his name out and make connections.

The only announced Republican candidates so far are Larimer County Commissioner Lew Gaiter and wealthy businessman Victor Mitchell, who served a single term in the state House nearly a decade ago. However, neither candidate has the statewide profile of Stapleton, who is George W. Bush’s second cousin. State Sen. Ray Scott and District Attorney George Brauchler, whose district includes four counties in Denver’s southeastern suburbs that are home to over one-sixth of the state, both previously said that they were considering running.

FL-Gov: This is not the story that Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum wanted during the second week in his quest for the Democratic nomination. Leon County Sheriff Walt McNeil, a Democrat, announced on Thursdaythat he was investigating whether Gillum’s office broke the law when they used a taxpayer funded email system to send political messages.

Around the time that Gillum was announcing his gubernatorial bid, he apologized and reimbursed the city the almost $5,000 in taxpayer money he used to buy email software from a Democratic campaign firm, and for sending some messages that he acknowledged weren’t official government business, including an event with Joe Biden. This whole matter may be pretty minor, but as Democrats everywhere learned the hard way last year, what could be a mundane story about emails could become politically toxic when the word “investigation” is thrown in.

PA-Gov: This is Rep. Mike Kelly, one of the many Republicans considering challenging Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf next year, on Barack Obama’s decision to live in D.C. until his daughter finishes at a local high school:

I think we ought to pitch in to let him go someplace else, because he is there for one purpose and for one purpose only. And that is to run a shadow government that is going to totally upset the new agenda. It just doesn’t make sense. And people sit back and say, my gosh, why can’t you guys get this done?

House

GA-06: The Congressional Leadership Fund is out with another ad attacking Democrat Jon Ossoff that once again uses decade-old footage of him clowning around as Han Solo in college. This time, the CLF starts with a clip from Ossoff’s own new ad in which he says, “Imagine you had 30 seconds to make a life or death decision….” The narrator then sneers, “Would you really want THIS GUY making those decisions for your family?” as Jon Solo takes the stage.

It’s obviously a ploy to make Ossoff look like a callow youth, and presumably, the CLF’s focus groups suggest it might be at least somewhat effective, otherwise they wouldn’t be spending a million bucks on this campaign. But this time, they’ve also ramped up the charges to claim that “lied about his résumé.” That’s a potentially risky move, because the spot offers no proof for that incendiary accusation, and if the CLF can’t back it up, Ossoff could demand that the spot be taken down.

OK-01: During his successful 2012 primary campaign against GOP incumbent John Sullivan, Jim Bridenstine pledged to leave the House after just three terms. While fellow Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin seemed to back away from that identical promise last year, Bridenstine reiterated it as recently as last spring. Bridenstine doesn’t seem to have said anything about his 2018 plans since he was re-elected in November and he’d be far from the first person to disregard self-imposed term-limits, but Tulsa Republicans are starting to line up for what they seem convinced will be an open seat.

Back in January, ex-Army intelligence officer Andy Coleman announced that he would run; it’s unclear if Coleman has the connections he’d need to raise a serious amount of money. On Thursday, businessman Kevin Hern, who owns and operates 10 local McDonald’s locations, also joined the race. Assuming that Bridenstine keeps his pledge and departs, it’s a good bet that other Republicans will consider a bid for this 61-33 Trump seat.
The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, and Stephen Wolf, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, and James Lambert.

To advertise in the Morning Digest, please contact advertise@dailykos.com.

Steve King Has : “Never Heard” of Pregnancy from Statutory Rape … unreal and a reminder


Steve King Has “Never Heard” Of Pregnancy From Statutory Rape

Steve King Has “Never Heard” Of Pregnancy From Statutory Rape

Well, if the Todd Akin mess has shown anything, it’s that any talk of abortion restrictions being passed in the name of “protecting” or “helping” women is just that.

There is nothing helpful about forced pregnancy and birth, yet that is the precise position of the Republican party. And as if Akin’s statements that rape exceptions are not needed in abortion bans because women don’t get pregnant in the case of “legitimate” rape weren’t bad enough, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) made the case that Republicans don’t believe statutory rape is legitimate rape.

As Talking Points Memo reports, King told an Iowa reporter he’s never heard of a child getting pregnant from statutory rape or incest.

“Well I just haven’t heard of that being a circumstance that’s been brought to me in any personal way,” King told KMEG-TV Monday, “and I’d be open to discussion about that subject matter.”

By Akin’s logic, a logic shared by Mike Huckabee, Steve King, Ron Paul and countless others in the Republican party, this lack of evidence of conception means that an exception to an abortion ban in the cases of statutory rape are not needed.

A 1996 report by the Guttmacher Institute found that at least half of all babies born to minor women are fathered by adult men.

That, by definition, is childbirth as a result of statutory rape. But most importantly is the big picture here. These are not isolated, unhinged comments by the fringe of the Republican party. This is their platform.