Friday, February 06, 2009

State Politics

While the stimulus debate rages in Washington, politics is still going on elsewhere, especially in the following states:

Missouri: Thankfully, Repub Senator Kit Bond has chosen not to run for a fifth term to the United States Senate and Secretary of State Robin Carnahan, daughter of a former Governor and of a U.S. Senator, has announced her intention to run (video below) for the Democratic nomination to succeed Bond. Public Policy Polling has her ahead of three possible Repub challengers, Representative Roy Blunt, former U.S. Senator Jim Talent, and former state Treasurer Sarah Steelman.

Kentucky: Second-generation Italian-American Daniel Mongiardo, the Lieutenant Governor who was defeated by incumbent Senator and far rightie Jim Bunning (R.- Philadelphia Phillies) in 2004, has announced his intention to challenge Bunning again, in 2010. Mongiardo is a physician and graduate of Transylvania University (don't know anything about it, but gotta love the name) who has incurred some hostility from the left for co-sponsoring SP 245, Kentucky's pending constitutional amendment against gay marriage. But, according to this post, as a state senator, he supported legislation to add "harassment, intimidation, or bullying of a student" for any of the characteristics listed in the state's hate-crime law; supports overtime pay and fair trade (not the euphemistically- named "free trade") to protect his state's workers; permitting importation of prescription drugs from Canada; a patient's right to sue his/her health maintenance organization; investment in alternative energy; and opposes privatization of Social Security.

Ohio: The popularity of Democratic Governor Ted Strickland has soared with introduction of his education plan and he now crushes in a hypothetical match-up either of his most likely 2010 GOP opponents, former U.S. Representative and Budget Committee Chairman John Kasich and former Senator Mike Dewine. Strickland, whose name was mentioned (though he had definitively denied any interest) first as a possible running mate for Hillary Clinton and then for Barack Obama, has been named along with numerous others as a possible nominee for Health and Human Services Secretary.

Virginia: Democratic Governor Tim Kaine, reportedly one of the three finalists (along with Evan Bayh and Biden) as Barack Obama's running mate, is constitutionally precluded from running for a second term. The most prominent Republican aspirant for the statehouse, Lieutenant Governor Robert T. McDonnell, is leading in a poll against each of these three possible Democratic opponents: Representative R. Creigh Deeds, former state legislator Brian T. Moran, and businessman Terry McAuliffe (yes, that Terry McAuliffe). Virginia is one of only two states with a gubernatorial election in 2009, the other being....

New Jersey: A Quinnipiac University poll shows former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, the leading Repub candidate for governor and buddy of former Attorney General John Ashcroft, with a lead against incumbent Governor Jon Corzine, with lots undecided. Christie has the political profile- largely ideologically unknown and flexible- a Republican probably needs in this liberal, and thus Democratic, state.... and can boast of prosecuting more than 130 elected and appointed political officials, a misleading, though potent (especially with the mainstream media) claim.

With the country being run (sort of) by a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress, this autumn may be a fearful time for a Democrat to be running for chief executive of a state or even U.S. Senator.

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