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No Apology
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Young Guns
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The Audacity of Hope
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Promises to Keep
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End the Fed

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Decision Points
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America By Heart
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Living History
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My Life
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Attorney General Eric Holder resigns: Sept. 25, 2014

Obama to appoint replacement during Lame Duck session

Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation, pending confirmation of a replacement. It is likely that President Obama will seek confirmation in the "lame duck" Senate, since Republicans will likely gain seats in the November election. If the confirmation occurs before January 2015, the current Senate, with more Democrats, will vote on confirmation.

OnTheIssues covers other members of Obama's existing Cabinet, including:

Department Current Secretary
Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro
Department of Defense Chuck Hagel
Attorney General Eric Holder
Department of State John Kerry
Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

Sources: OnTheIssues Archives
Click for Cabinet coverage.


OnTheIssues Senate prediction: 52-48 GOP takeover: Sept. 18, 2014

Prediction: Independents will change control of the Senate to GOP

As usual, the pundits oversimplify the Senate race by pretending that the Republicans need 6 more seats to take over the Senate (for example, "Republicans need to pick up six seats to flip control of the chamber", Politico, Sept. 14). Our prediction below summarizes how the Republicans will gain control of the Senate with a net gain of only 5 seats or possibly even 4 seats. The key is understanding how independents "caucus" in the Senate, and observing that independents have a uniquely powerful role in the 2014 elections. We'll discuss that below the chart, but first our prediction.

The chart below shows the OnTheIssues prediction for every Senate race in 2014. Astute readers should NEVER accept a "prediction" which does not include details of each race! Many "political models" do so, but without individual race predictions, "predictions" are just random guesses based on whimsy. Real predictions show details, like we do below!

  • Senate is currently divided 53D/45R/2I, and both independents caucus with the Democratic majority.
  • We predict in November one independent victory (Orman in Kansas);
  • Eight Senate seats that switch to Republican;
  • Three Senate seats that switch from Republican (including Orman);
  • A net gain of 5 Senate seats for the Republicans, making the Senate 48D/50R/3I (not enough for GOP control)
  • A controlling majority for the Republican caucus due to Sen. Angus King (I-ME), making the Senate 48D/51R/2I
  • Orman will then, as promised, also caucus with the Republicans, making the Senate 48D/52R/1I
  • Click on a candidate in the chart for their issue stances, or a state name for Senate debate excerpts.
  • Details on our prediction below the chart, plus timing in December, not November!
Red: switch to Republican
Blue: switch to Democratic
White: keep incumbent party
Predicted Winner Predicted Loser
AKSullivan(R) Begich(D)
ALSessions(R) (unopposed)
ARCotton(R) Pryor(D)
& Swaney(G)
COUdall(D) Gardner(R)
DECoons(D) Wade(R)
GANunn(D) Perdue(R)
HISchatz(D) Cavasso(R)
IAErnst(R) Braley(D)
IDRisch(R) Mitchell(D)
ILDurbin(D) Oberweis(R)
& Hansen(L)
KSOrman(I) Roberts(R)
& Taylor(D)
KYMcConnell(R) Grimes(D)
LACassidy(R) Landrieu(D)
& Maness(R)
MAMarkey(D) Herr(R)
MECollins(R) Bellows(D)
MIPeters(D) Land(R)
MNFranken(D) McFadden(R)
& Johnson(L)
MSChilders(D) Cochran(R)
MTDaines(R) Curtis(D)
& Rankin(I)
NCHagan(D) Tillis(R)
& Haugh(L)
NESasse(R) Domina(D)
NHBrown(R) Shaheen(D)
NJBooker(D) Bell(R)
NMUdall(D) Weh(R)
OK-2Lankford(R) Johnson(D)
OK-6Inhofe(R) Silverstein(D)
ORMerkley(D) Wehby(R)
RIReed(D) Zaccaria(R)
SC-2Scott(R) Dickerson(D)
SC-6Graham(R) Hutto(D)
& Ravenel(I)
SDRounds(R) Pressler(I)
& Weiland(D)
TNAlexander(R) Ball(D)
TXCornyn(R) Alameel(D)
VAWarner(D) Gillespie(R)
& Sarvis(L)
WVCapito(R) Tennant(D)
& Buckley(L)
& Lawhorn(I)
WYEnzi(R) Hardy(D)
The count from the list above splits control 50-50, which means Joe Biden (D, V.P.) casts the deciding vote and Senate control stays with the Democrats. That's why all the pundits say that the magic number is 6 for the GOP: So why do the pundits all have it wrong? Because they are not looking at the independents. If Orman wins, there will be three independents in the Senate:
  • Bernie Sanders (I,VT), who currently caucuses with the Democrats;
  • Angus King (I,ME), who also caucuses with the Democrats, but has stated that he is willing to switch;
  • and Greg Orman (I,KS), who has made no promise at all about which party he will caucus with!
We predict that Sen. Sanders will stick with the Democrats no matter what. He has been campaigning recently for President in 2016, as the progressive alternative to Hillary Clinton, and we foresee that he will pursue that role--which requires that he become a full-fledged Democrat. So no switch in caucusing.

Sen. King has been unambiguous in his party affiliation (or non-affiliatin, in this case!): "King has maintained that his current work with the Democratic caucus does not bar him from one day possibly allying with Republicans" (Washington Post, April 10, 2014) King's staff says "his guiding principle is, and always will be, to do what is right for Maine" -- by which King means he will caucus with whichever party has the majority. But if the Senate splits 50-50, the GOP can offer King a committee chair of his choice, which would certainly allow King to better "do what is right for Maine" -- we predict that deal will be made.

Orman says pretty much the same thing as King: that he will "caucus with the party that was in the majority as that would be in the best interest for the state of Kansas" (538 blog, Sept. 4, 2014). So Orman will receive GOP offers of the committee assignments of his choice. We would have been confident that Orman would accept a GOP offer, except that the distasteful GOP shenanigans in his Kansas Senate race (see Sept. 3-5 entries below) may push Orman to the Democrats.

Note that if BOTH King and Orman accept GOP offers, the Senate count will be 52-48 in favor of Republicans. In other words, EITHER King or Orman can accept (but we think both will). If BOTH King or Orman caucus with the GOP, then the magic number for a GOP takeover is 4 races, not even 5. If any one of the turn-to-red columns above stays blue, as long as Orman wins, the GOP can STILL make a deal to gain the Senate majority. We predict that one of those scenarios will happen with high likelihood -- leaving Obama with a fully Republican Congress for his last two years.

Now about timing -- the Republicans benefit from electoral quirks on timing also. Louisiana is not holding their general election in November, but rather a "jungle primary" where all candidates of all parties compete. If no candidate gets 50%, a general election of the top two vote-getters is held on Dec. 6th. OnTheIssues predicts that neither Cassidy nor Landrieu will get 50% in November, and that Cassidy will then win the December election. The relevance for Senate control is that after Nov. 4th, if our other predictions are right, the Senate will be split 48D/48R/3I. The Republicans will then pour resources into Louisiana, and Cassidy will likely win because Maness will no longer be in the race. Foreseeing that outcome, the Senate Republican leadership will have one month to cut a deal with Senator Angus King, and another deal with Senator-elect Greg Orman. Those deals will likely be contingent on the outcome of the Louisiana December election; King and Orman will agree to caucus with the GOP only if Cassidy wins. The deals will be announced on Dec. 7, after the Louisiana general election; and if Landrieu wins in December, we will never hear about the deals King and Orman made!

Sources: OnTheIssues archives
Click for issue coverage of all Senate debates.


House, Senate and gubernatorial primaries: Sept. 9, 2014

Primaries in MA, NH, and NY

Race: New candidates / won primary: Lost primaries or withdrew:
New York Gubernatorial Primary: Rob Astorino (R)
now faces Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D)
Prof. Zephyr Teachout (D)
New Hampshire Senate Primary: Former Sen. Scott Brown (R)
now faces Former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen (D)
Former state Sen. Jim Rubens (R)
Former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith (R)
Massachusetts Gubernatorial Democratic Primary: Atty. Gen. Martha Coakley (D)
now faces Charlie Baker (R)
Treasurer Steve Grossman (D)
Dr. Don Berwick (D)
Massachusetts House 6th district Primary: Seth Moulton (D)
now faces Richard Tisei (R)
John Tierney (D)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming weeks to see general election coverage.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Gubernatorial candidates.


Democratic nominee Chad Taylor (D, KS) withdraws: Sept. 3-5, 2014

Wierdest events of the political season

Sept. 3 afternoon: Chad Taylor's campaign manager conducts a phone interview with OnTheIssues

Sept. 3 evening: Chad Taylor announces his withdrawal.

Sept. 4: "Chad Taylor, the Democratic nominee in the upcoming Senate election in Kansas, announced that he was dropping out of the race. This is the biggest political story of the week: the path is now clear for the independent candidate Greg Orman to run against the unpopular Republican incumbent Pat Roberts. Orman is now the front-runner, a change that puts the Democrats squarely in the driver’s seat to retain control of the Senate." (New Yorker magazine)

Sept. 5: "The Senate race in Kansas was shaken up for the second time in two days when Secretary of State Kris Kobach [a Republican] said Taylor had not met the requirements to withdraw from the race and would stay on the ballot. Kobach said Kansas law requires that candidates who want to be removed from the ballot submit a formal letter and also declare themselves 'incapable of fulfilling the duties of office if elected.' Taylor submitted a letter before the deadline to withdraw, but did not make such a declaration. So he will remain on the ballot, Kobach said." (WIchita Eagle)

Sept. 6: "The National Republican Senatorial Committee is sending staff to counsel Roberts and help oversee his campaign. The committee will also seek to hire a local lawyer in any legal challenge against Mr. Taylor, who had tried to drop off the ballot on the last day candidates were allowed to do so." (New York Times)

Sept. 7: "The Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Kansas is expected to file a lawsuit on Monday to keep his name off the November ballot, a party leader said. 'This is the first time I've ever seen the national Democrats work really hard to get a Democrat off the ballot,' Sen. Roberts said. (Reuters)

OnTheIssues summary: To summarize this wierd series of events: Taylor withdrew to help Orman; the Republican secretary of state saw that Robertsw would lose so he disallowed Taylor's withdrawal. Taylor and the Democrats will appeal the ballot ruling, so the national Republicans are sending legal staff to keep the Democrat ON the ballot!

OnTheIssues prediction: Taylor will stay on the ballot, but the heavy news coverage will mean that every Kansan will know the story and not vote for Taylor, as Taylor wishes, making Orman very likely to win. OnTheIssues has the honor, we believe, of being the last interview given in this campaign. That the campaign manager did so, a few hours before announcing their withdrawal, means that Taylor wanted a record of his issue stances -- which implies that Taylor will run again for some office in the future!

Sources: (New Yorker magazine, Wichita Eagle, New York Times, Reuters, and OnTheIssues interview
Click for 2014 Kansas Senate debates.


House, Senate and gubernatorial primaries: Aug. 26, 2014

Primaries in FL, AZ, and OK

Race: New candidates / won primary: Lost primaries or withdrew:
Arizona Gubernatorial GOP Primary: Treasurer Doug Ducey (R)
now faces Fred DuVal (D)
Rep. Frank Riggs (D)
Oklahoma Senate Democratic Primary: State Sen. Connie Johnson (D)
now faces U.S. Rep. James Lankford (R)
Jim Rogers (D)
Florida House 26th district GOP Primary: Carlos Curbelo (R)
now faces U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia (D)
Former U.S. Rep. David Rivera (R)
Florida Gubernatorial Democratic Primary: Former GOP Gov. Charlie Crist (D)
now faces Gov. Rick Scott (R)
State Senator Nan Rich (D)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming weeks to see general election coverage.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Gubernatorial candidates.


Senate and gubernatorial primaries: through Aug. 23, 2014

Primaries in HI, AK, and TN; plus emergency convention in MT

Race: New candidates / won primary: Lost primaries or withdrew:
Alaska Senate GOP Primary:
Aug. 19 GOP primary
Attorney General Dan Sullivan (R)
now faces Sen. Mark Begich (D)
Tea Party favorite Joe Miller (R)
Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell (R)
Alaska House Democratic Primary:
Aug. 19 primary for At-Large seat
Forrest Dunbar (D)
now faces Rep. Don Young (R)
Frank Vondersaar (D)
Montana Senate Democratic Convention:
Aug. 16 party convention to replace late withdrawal
State Rep. Amanda Curtis (D)
now faces U.S. Rep. Steve Daines (R)
and Independent Sam Rankin (I)
Senator John Walsh (D)
(withdrew in wake of plagiarism scandal)
Hawaii Gubernatorial Democratic Primary:
Incumbent concedes defeat in Aug. 9 primary
David Ige (D)
now faces Former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona (R)
Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D)
Hawaii Senatorial Primary:
(including hurricane-delayed balloting on Aug. 15)
Sen. Brian Schatz (D)
now faces Cam Cavasso (R)
Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D)
Eddie Pirkowski (R)
Tennessee Democratic Senatorial Primary:
Aug. 7 primary
Gordon Ball (D)
now faces Sen. Lamar Alexander (R)
Terry Adams (D)
Also ran: Joe Carr (R)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming weeks to see general election coverage.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.


Senatorial race updates: Aug. 15, 2014

New candidates in 10 states

OnTheIssues has added coverage for several new Senatorial candidates, or in the case of Montana, won the quickie convention. The new candidates will have their issue stances filled out over the next couple of weeks.

State Race:
(click for debates)
New candidate coverage:
Arkansas Mark Swaney (G)
Delaware Kevin Wade (R)
Hawaii Eddie Pirkowski (R)
Minnesota Heather Johnson (L)
Montana Amanda Curtis (D)
Sam Rankin (I)
North Carolina Sean Haugh (L)
Rhode Island Mark Zaccaria (R)
South Carolina Thomas Ravenel (R)
Tennessee Terry Adams (D)
Gordon Ball (D)
West Virginia Zane Lawhorn (I)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances; and check back in the coming weeks to see additional coverage.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.


Senator John Walsh (D, MT) withdraws: Aug. 7, 2014

Ends re-election campaign days before deadline, in plagiarism scandal

Under pressure from Democrats, Senator John Walsh of Montana, who has served in office for just six months, said on Thursday that he was dropping his election bid, clearing the path for his party to nominate a new candidate. Walsh, who was appointed by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock (D) to his office in February after Senator Max Baucus was named ambassador to China, will keep his seat through the end of this year. Montana Democrats have until Aug. 21 — when statewide candidates are certified on the ballot —to replace him. His withdrawal from the race comes about two weeks after The New York Times reported that in 2007 Walsh had plagiarized large sections of the final paper he completed to earn his master’s degree at the prestigious Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. Monday is the deadline for Montana candidates to withdraw from the general election.

Democrats in Washington and Montana had concluded that Walsh had virtually no chance to win against the Republican nominee, Rep. Steve Daines. He was mum for much of this week, canceling public events and discussing his decision with his family. After initially denying his plagiarism when confronted with evidence outside his office last month, Walsh suggested after The Times published the article that stress from his tour of combat in Iraq had played a part in his appropriating the work of others. Last week, however, he said that the effects of his military service had not played a part, and indicated that he took “full responsibility” for his behavior. Still, the reaction in his home state was swift and negative. Two Montana newspapers published editorials on Sunday urging him to stop campaigning.

Sources: New York Times, Washington Post, and OnTheIssues Archives
Click for 2014 Montana Senate debates.


Rep. Eric Cantor resigns: Aug. 1, 2014

Effective Aug. 18; special election in November

Less than two months after his stunning primary upset and just hours after stepping down as House majority leader, Rep. Eric Cantor said Thursday that he will resign his seat in the House of Representatives effective Aug. 18. “I want to make sure that the constituents in the 7th District will have a voice in what will be a very consequential lame-duck session,” Cantor said in an exclusive interview with the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Cantor said he has asked Gov. Terry McAuliffe to call a special election for his district that coincides with the general election on Nov. 4. By having a special election in November, the winner would take office immediately, rather than in January with the next Congress. “That way he will also have seniority, and that will help the interests of my constituents (because) he can be there in that consequential lame-duck session,” Cantor said.

Dave Brat, an economics professor from Henrico County, toppled the incumbent in a Republican primary on June 10. Cantor on Thursday reiterated his support of Brat’s election bid. “I hope he will win,” he said.

McAuliffe said Wednesday that he was “heartsick” over Cantor’s defeat, because coupled with the retirements of Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-10th, and Rep. Jim Moran, D-8th, it represents a significant loss of clout for the state’s congressional delegation.

Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said Cantor deserves credit for making a “generous gesture” to his district and eventual successor by resigning early. “At the same time, it’s highly probable that he has a very lucrative deal in the works for his post-Congress life, and he’s eager to get started,” Sabato said. “The Republicans are nearly guaranteed to retain control of the House of Representatives after November, and a former majority leader with good ties to most of his colleagues is a very valuable commodity,” he said.

Sources: Richmond Times-Dispatch and OnTheIssues archives
Click for Dave Brat's and Rep. Eric Cantor's issue positions.


Georgia Republican Primary runoff results: July 22, 2014

Tea party wins; incumbents lose in 3 out of 4 runoff races

Race:
(click for debates)
Winner of GOP runoff Loser of GOP runoff Facing Democrat in November
Georgia Senate David Perdue (R)
cousin of former Governor Sonny Perdue (D)
Rep. Jack Kingston
Incumbent member of House of Representatives
Michelle Nunn (D)
daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn (D)
GA-11 House seat Barry Loudermilk (R)
Tea Party candidate (D)
Rep. Bob Barr
Former member of House of Representatives
No one!
(Democrats did not file a candidate for this seat!)
GA-10 House seat Jody Hice (R)
Tea Party candidate (R)
Mike Collins (R)
Establishment candidate
Ken Dious (D)
GA-1 House seat Buddy Carter (R)
Establishment candidate (R)
Bob Johnson (R)
Tea Party candidate
Brian Reese (D)

Sources: Google News and OnTheIssues archives
Click for Tom Coburn's issue positions.


Gubernatorial race updates: July 13, 2014

New candidates in NY, CA, OK, AK, FL, and AZ (plus HI as of Aug. 9)

OnTheIssues has added coverage for several new gubernatorial candidates based on who won their primaries, or who answered our VoteMatch quiz. The new candidates will have their issue stances filled out over the next couple of weeks.

State Race:
(click for debates)
New candidate coverage: Existing candidates / incumbent:
New York Rob Astorino (R)
Zephyr Teachout (D)
Howie Hawkins (G)
Rep. Kathy Hochul (D, Lt.Gov.)
Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D)
Oklahoma Joe Dorman (D) Gov. Mary Fallin (R)
California Neel Kashkari (R) Gov. Jerry Brown (D)
Arizona Rep. Frank Riggs (R)
Fred DuVal (D)
JL Mealer (I)
Jan Brewer (R, term-limited)
Arkansas Frank Gilbert (L) Asa Hutchinson (R)
Mike Ross (D)
Florida Alexander Snitker (L for Lt. Gov.) Rick Scott (R)
Charlie Crist (D)
Hawaii David Ige (D, won Aug. 9 primary) Neil Abercrombie (D, lost Aug. 9 primary)
Duke Aiona (R)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances; and check back in the coming weeks to see additional coverage.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Governor candidates.


Another Tuesday, another primary: June 24, 2014

Primaries in CO, MD, NY, OK, SC, and UT; plus specials in MS and FL

Race: New candidates / won primary: Lost primaries or withdrew:
Colorado Gubernatorial GOP Primary: Bob Beauprez (R) Tom Tancredo (R)
Colorado Senate GOP Primary: Cory Gardner (R) Randy Baumgardner (R)
Owen Hill (R)
Florida Special Election House 19th district : Curt Clawson (R)  
Mississippi Senate GOP Runoff: Thad Cochran (R) State Sen. Chris McDaniel (R)
Oklahoma Senate primary for 2-year term: Rep. James Lankford (R)
Connie Johnson (D)
House Speaker T. W. Shannon (R)
South Carolina Senate Democratic primary for 6-year term: Brad Hutto (D) Jay Stamper (D)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming weeks to see additional coverage.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.


House Leadership shakeup: June 10-23, 2014

Majority leader resigns; new GOP leadership elected

  • June 10: Dave Brat (R,VA-7): Won Republican primary: “I plan to cross this entire district and knock on thousands of additional doors and spread this message. That’s how we won the primary and that’s how we’re going to win the election in November.”

  • June 11: Eric Cantor (R,VA-7): Announced his resignation as Majority Leader effective July 31: "[I] suffered a personal setback last night, [but] I couldn’t be more optimistic about the future of this country.”

  • June 19: Kevin McCarthy (R,CA-23) Elected Majority Leader. Asked to respond to grassroots Republicans who felt Cantor’s defeat by a Tea Party insurgent should have resulted in a more conservative majority leader, McCarthy said: “They elected a guy who is a grandson of a cattle-rancher, the son of a firefighter; they elected a guy who has only grown-up with the grassroots.”

  • June 19: Raul Labrador (R,ID-1): Lost bid for Majority Leader, as Tea Party candidate: "If you vote for the status quo, you will prove that we are still not listening," Labrador told his colleagues.

  • June 19: Steve Scalise (R,LA-1). Won election as Majority Whip, as the Tea Party candidate: “This is a win for America because were going to be a more united team moving forward.”

  • June 19: Peter Roskam (R,IL-6): Lost bid for Majority Whip, as the moderate candidate: Asked whether he would run again for the position in November, Roskam demurred: “Today is Steve Scalise day, so let's celebrate Steve Scalise."

  • June 23: Speaker John Boehner (R,OH-8): His leadership position is unaffected by the shakeup: "After Cantor’s primary loss and the subsequent change of his top deputies, Boehner has assured colleagues that he will remain in place to provide the conference with stability."

Sources: ABC News (June 11); Idaho Statesman (June 20); The Hill (June 23); MSNBC (June 19), Breitbart.com (June 20); The Guardian (June 19)
Click for issue coverage of all House candidates.


Republican Primaries: June 3, 2014

GOP nominees decided in primaries in Mississippi, Iowa, South Dakota, Alabama, California, and New Jersey

Sources: OnTheIssues archives and misc. news sources
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.


Cabinet Shakeup: May 30, 2014

Gen. Shinseki resigns; 3rd Cabinet announcement this year

Since the start of Obama's second term in January 2013, six Cabinet officers have resigned, including three in 2014. The roster of changes now includes:

Sources: Misc. news sources and OnTheIssues Archives
Click for complete Cabinet coverage.


Republican Senate Primaries: May 20 & 27, 2014

Senate GOP nominees decided in primaries in Georgia, Oregon, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Nebraska; plus Texas non-Senate races the next week

Sources: OnTheIssues archives and misc. news sources
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.


Candidate update: May 15, 2014

Who entered races in March/April, and who lost in April?

OnTheIssues has added some new candidates for 2014 Senate and gubernatorial races; the primaries are now underway, too, so we note the candidates who have lost their primaries. OnTheIssues serves as a political archive, so we keep information on candidates even after they drop out -- ready for the next race or for referencing.

    Lost primaries or withdrew:

  • CO Senate election, Owen Hill (R, withdrew March 17)

  • CO Senate election, Ken Buck (R, withdrew March 2)

  • CO Senate election, Amy Stephens (R, withdrew March 2)

  • MI House election, John Conyers (D, May 14, failed ballot access)

  • NE Senate election, Jon Bruning (R, lost May 13 primary)

  • NE Senate election, Shane Osborn (R, lost May 13 primary)

  • TX Senate election, Steve Stockman (R, lost March 4 primary)

  • WV Senate election, John Raese (R, lost May 13 primary)

  • WV Senate election, Pat McGeehan (R, lost May 13 primary)

  • WY Senate election, Liz Cheney (R, withdrew Jan. 6)

Click on the new candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming weeks to see additional coverage. We will now focus on adding depth to each candidate issue page (the current average is 67% coverage for challengers; i.e., 2/3rds of all VoteMatch questions are answered for each candidate).

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.


Rep. Michael Grimm arrested: April 28, 2014

Two Congressmen embroiled in scandals vow to serve out their terms

New York Rep. Michael Grimm was indicted Monday on 20 counts of fraud and other charges relating to a Manhattan restaurant he owned and operated, accused by federal prosecutors of evading the IRS and making over $1 million in revenue "disappear." The Republican congressman, who is a former FBI agent, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Brooklyn. After he was arrested earlier in the day, Grimm will be released on $400,000 bond. He was ordered to stay within the continental U.S., and surrender his passport by May 11.

The congressman has vowed to fight. After learning that charges were forthcoming, Grimm's attorney William McGinley said Friday that the "government has pursued a politically driven vendetta against Congressman Grimm and not an independent search for the truth." The statement said Grimm "asserts his innocence of any wrongdoing" and "will be vindicated." McGinley said Grimm will "continue to serve his constituents."

The indictment covered mail and wire fraud charges and charges pertaining to false federal tax returns. At the heart of the indictment was an alleged "scheme" to hide sales and wages at his Upper East Side restaurant, Healthalicious, which he ran from 2007 to 2010 before entering Congress. Prosecutors described a relatively simple scheme, where Grimm allegedly took cash from the register of his restaurant and used part of that to pay workers off the books. In doing so, he allegedly under-reported his revenue, "making over a million dollars simply disappear."

Grimm was also accused of hiring undocumented workers. The charges did not appear to focus on the financing of Grimm's 2010 congressional campaign, which was initially thought to be the focus of a long-running FBI investigation.


[In an unrelated scandal], U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister said that he won't be seeking reelection to his seat next fall.

Gov. Bobby Jindal, Louisiana's Republican Party state chairman Roger Villere and others asked McAllister to step down early after the married congressman was caught on video kissing a member of his staff. McAllister said that he plans to serve out the rest of his term, which ends in December. The congressman's decision not to run for relection is likely to spur a lot of interest in his position representing the 5th district in Louisiana.

Sources: Fox News and New Orleans Times Picayune
Click for Michael Grimm's and Vance McAllister's issue positions.


Republican wins Florida special election: March 11, 2014

Representative-elect David Jolly will be seated this week

Rep. Bill Young (R, FL-13) passed away on Oct. 18, 2013; a special election was called by Gov. Rick Scott (R) for March 11, 2014. David Jolly (R) beat Alex Sink (D), and because this is a special election, will be seated immediately, but will be up for re-election in November 2014.

Sources: OnTheIssues archives
Click for David Jolly's issue positions.


New candidates for Senate & Governor: March 1, 2014

Who entered the races in February?

OnTheIssues has added some late entries for the 2014 Senate and gubernatorial races. February 2014 is considered a "late entry" for the November 2014 election (the first Senate primary takes place in Texas in March!).

Click on the new candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming weeks to see additional coverage. We will now focus on adding depth to each candidate issue page (the current average is 50% coverage for challengers; i.e., half of all VoteMatch questions are answered for each candidate); and on adding third-party candidates (who typically enter the race later than major-party candidates, since they usually have no primary).

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for issue coverage of all Senate candidates.


New Senator appointed: Feb. 7, 2014

One Senator and one Rep. resign; one new Senator appointed

Sen. Max Baucus (D, MT) resigns; Lt. Gov. John Walsh (D, MT) appointed:

Win or lose in November, Democratic Lt. Gov. John Walsh will be the next senator from Montana. Gov. Steve Bullock appointed his former running mate to fill the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Max Baucus, who is leaving the Senate early after being confirmed as ambassador to China.

Walsh was already running for the seat, but he'll now run as the incumbent senator. That change could provide some inherent advantages in his quest to hold one of the party's most vulnerable seats. "I wanted to appoint someone who I truly believed would wake up each and every day wanting to put Montana and Montanans first," Bullock said in a news conference to announce the appointment.

National Democrats recruited Walsh to run after former Gov. Brian Schweitzer took a pass on the race. The open seat is a top target of national Republicans, who landed a top-tier candidate in Rep. Steve Daines. Two other Democrats, former Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger and rancher Dirk Adams, are also seeking the nomination.

Rep. Rob Andrews (D, NJ) resigns:

New Jersey Congressman Rob Andrews has announced he's resigning from his congressional post after holding the seat for more than two decades. The 56-year-old will join a Philadelphia law firm. "It appeared that this was an opportunity that was here now and that would not be here in the coming months," he said. Andrews plans to vacate his post on Feb. 18, but his staff will stay on board until a successor is chosen. N.J. Gov. Chris Christie will need to schedule a special election to fill Andrews' seat. No word yet on when that may be. The New Jersey 1st Congressional District is a strongly Democratic seat that is expected to stay blue in the upcoming election.

The congressman's resignation comes as he is being investigated for potential ethics violations related to the use of campaign funding for travel. A watchdog group called for an investigation into his use of $11,000 for a trip to California. His daughter, an aspiring performer, was in Los Angeles at the same time for a music recording session. Andrews also reimbursed his campaign $13,000 after coming under scrutiny for taking his family to a wedding on the campaign's dime. His campaign then donated the money to charity. The congressman has said multiple times that all of the spending was legal and fully disclosed. His resignation would shut down the investigation since he would no longer be a member of Congress and would be out of the purview of the U.S. House Ethics Committee.

Sources: Rollcall.com (MT) and NBC Philadelphia (NJ)
Click for issue stances of newly-appointed Senator John Walsh.


State of the State speeches: Feb. 1, 2014

Governors lay out plans for the year

Most governors (but not all) are required to make an annual speech to their state legislature on the "State of the State", analogous to the presidential requirement of an annual "State of the Union" speech. These speeches typically take place early in the year; below are excerpts from those which have taken place in January. More will follow in February, with a few in March.

Republican Governor State of the State speeches Democratic Governor State of the State speeches

Click on the governors above to see their policy plans as laid out in their annual State of the State speeches.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for complete State of the State speech coverage.


State of the Union address: Jan. 28, 2014

Excerpts from President Obama's speech and the Republican responses

President Obama delivered the State of the Union address, telling numerous tales of ObamaCare, and assigning Joe Biden a new task. The mainstream media focused on how Obama promised, on several issues, to bypass Congress and implement new policy by Executive Order.

The Republican response was marked by numerous separate responses this year:


Click for full excerpts of SOTU speeches.


Rep. Trey Radel resigns: Jan. 27, 2014

Arrested for cocaine possession; special election to follow

Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) will resign from Congress on Monday, according to multiple sources. Radel, 37, was caught buying cocaine last year from an undercover federal agent in Washington and spent nearly a month in a rehabilitation facility. He returned to Congress after the winter recess. Before this incident, Radel looked like he had a bright career. He gained prominence by playful banter on Twitter. He called himself the hip hop Congressman.

It’s up to Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott to schedule a special election for Radel’s seat. His southwest Florida district is solidly Republican — Mitt Romney won the district with 61 percent of the vote. The race for Radel’s seat had begun even before he decided to resign. Republican Paige Kreegel, a former state representative, has already launched a campaign for the 19th district. Kreegel, who finished third to Radel in a 2012 primary, has drawn the support of a super PAC, which has raised $1 million with the intention of helping him win the seat.

Lizbeth Benacquisto, a Republican leader in the Florida Senate in Tallahassee, is widely expected to run for the seat. Former Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), who held the seat before Radel, has also mulled a run. Former Congressman Connie Mack has talked to others about potentially running for the Fort Myers-based seat he used to hold, and former candidate Chauncey Goss hasn't ruled out a bid, either. Both Goss and Kreegel, a former state representative, ran against Radel and lost in 2012.

The race’s lone Democratic candidate, April Freeman, issued a written statement skirting whether Radel’s less-than-reputable departure would lead to positive opinions for a Democrat in the seat, but it touched on Freeman being an “independent voice” to replace the Republican’s “hurtful, harmful and extreme” political policies. “They did not support Southwest Florida business, protect seniors or improve government. More of the same will not help our community,” she wrote.

Sources: Southwest Florida News-Press, Politico.com and Miami Herald
Click for Trey Radel's issue positions.


Sen. Tom Coburn announces resignation: Jan. 18, 2014

Special election scheduled for Nov. 2014

Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn will retire at the end of 2014, triggering a special election for his deep-red Senate seat in November That means the Republican primary to replace Coburn could be a free-for-all.

Three of Oklahoma’s five U.S. House members are seen as potential candidates: Reps. Tom Cole, James Lankford, and
Jim Bridenstine. Insiders in the state expect Lankford to jump into the race; Cole, too, has long been seen as someone who could run for, and is interested in, seeking higher office. Bridenstine, should he decide to run, would likely be the choice of outside conservative and tea party groups.

Also on the shortlist are several state-level officials: Attorney General Scott Pruitt, Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb and Corporation Commissioner Patrice Douglas. And T.W. Shannon, the African-American speaker of the state House, will certainly be on Oklahoma insiders’ minds for the seat.

Gov. Mary Fallin announced Friday morning that the special election to fill Coburn’s seat will be held on Oklahoma’s regular election days this year: a primary on June 24, runoff election on Aug. 26 if necessary, and the general election on Nov. 4. The filing deadline is April 11.

Kirk Humphreys, the former mayor of Oklahoma City who ran and lost against Coburn in the 2004 GOP primary, said the race to fill Coburn’s seat could be “like a cattle call.” At the same time, he said, one factor could keep the field smaller: because the special election will be held at the same time as the state’s regularly scheduled elections, anyone whose current position is up for reelection this year will have to consider whether to give up his or her seat in order to run for Senate. That applies to almost all of the potential candidates being mentioned: Cole, Lankford and Bridenstine all have House elections in November, and Pruitt, Lamb and Douglas all are up for reelection statewide this fall as well.

Sources: Politico.com [Update Jan. 21: Cole said No; Lankford said Yes; Bridenstine still has not said].
Click for Tom Coburn's issue positions.


House retirement coverage: Jan. 16, 2014

It's retirement week!

A spate of House retirement announcements this week highlights that January is a traditional time to announce retirement. "Retirement" means the House incumbent will not seek re-election in November 2014, and will leave office in January 2015. The January timing allows challengers to file for candidacy in time for early primaries (some as early as spring 2014). The list so far for the entire 113th Congress appears below -- we'll add next week's list as announcements are made; next week will be another "retirement week"!

CA-25 R Buck McKeon January 16, 2014
VA-8 D James Moran January 15, 2014
NY-21 D Bill Owens January 14, 2014
CA-11 D George Miller January 13, 2014
NY-4 D Carolyn McCarthy January 8, 2014
NC-7 D Mike McIntyre January 8, 2014
PA-6 R Jim Gerlach January 6, 2014
IA-3 R Tom Latham December 18, 2013
UT-4 D Jim Matheson December 17, 2013
VA-10 R Frank Wolf December 17, 2013
NJ-3 R Jon Runyan November 7, 2013
NC-6 R John Howard Coble November 7, 2013
AR-2 R Tim Griffin October 21, 2013
AL-6 R Spencer Bachus September 30, 2013
CA-45 R John Campbell June 27, 2013
MN-6 R Michele Bachmann May 29, 2013

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for complete House coverage.


Gubernatorial debate coverage: Jan. 5, 2014

Governors and challengers in 2014 races

OnTheIssues begins its coverage of gubernatorial races. The list below include races where the two opposing candidates have announced early enough that we can cover them early (some will likely drop out, and we will likely add some others later). Click on the state names for debate coverage, or on the incumbent and challenger names for candidate coverage. Check back in coming weeks as we fill in the coverage of each of the races below.

State raceIncumbent running for re-election
or successor of incumbent party
Challenger
Arkansas Secy. Asa Hutchinson (R)Rep. Mike Ross (D)
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D)Secy. Hilda Solis (D)
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (D)
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D)Rep. Tom Tancredo (R)
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy (D)Amb. Tom Foley (R)
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R)Gov. Charlie Crist (D)
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D)Rep. Charles Djou (R)
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R)Gov. Chet Culver (D)
Massachusetts A.G. Martha Coakley (D)
Treas. Steve Grossman (D)
Secy. Charlie Baker (R)
Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R)Rep. Mike Michaud (D)
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R)Rep. Mark Schauer (D)
New Jersey (2013)Gov. Chris Christie (R)State Sen. Barbara Buono (D)
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R)Gov. Gary Johnson (L)
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R)Rep. Dan Boren (D)
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R)Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D)
Rep. Mark Critz (D for Lt.Gov.)
Virginia (2013)Gov.-Elect Terry McAuliffe (D)A.G. Ken Cuccinelli (R)

Click on the candidates above to see their issue stances (and others'); and check back in the coming months as we "freshen" their coverage as the campaigns progress.

Sources: OnTheIssues.org archives.
Click for Gubernatorial debate coverage, or all Gubernatorial incumbents and candidates.

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