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Operation Counterweight 2014 Tag

Three Republican Candidates face Democrat incumbent Ami Bera in the race for the CA-7 congressional seat: Doug Ose, Igor Birman, and Elizabeth Emken. The Cook PVI ranks this district as EVEN, or perfectly divided between Republicans and Democrats, and Election Projection says the district has a weak Democrat hold. According to the DCCC's internal poll, Bera is the current frontrunner as the June 3rd California primaries approach, polling at 47%. Ose and Birman follow with 22% and 17% respectively, and Emken trails at 7%. The remaining 7% are undecided. Due to the nature of California's primaries, only the two candidates with the most votes, regardless of party affiliation, will move on to the November elections. With Bera's huge lead in the polls, this leaves one spot open for the three Republican candidates to fight over, and so the party infighting is currently heated. Despite trailing both Emken and Ose in funding (until recently), Birman has managed to hold a strong second place in in the Republican primary polls. And now, he's bringing the fight to Ose, accusing him (rightfully, I'd say) of being too liberal: Birman, who as a child emigrated to the US from the Soviet Union, is a staunch conservative: he has been endorsed by both Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Tom McClintock, and his campaign website states:
My first and only allegiance will be to the Constitution that every Member of Congress swears an oath to preserve and protect. Congress has ignored too many Constitutional principles. Having risked so much for a chance to live in freedom as an American, I will never forget them.
The primary race boils down to this: Will voters go for a moderate on the assumption that will make a victory more likely? Hasn't that been tried before?

Legal Insurrection's first Operation Counterweight 2014 Senate candidate....

I've known him from the blogosphere, where he ran The Wolf Files. Now he's running for Senate in Kansas. This radio ad, in which mention is made of him being "The Next Ted Cruz" is sure to get attention, as it has at The Hill:
Milton Wolf is quickly claiming the Ted Cruz mantle in his primary against Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.). The Senate hopeful and second cousin to President Obama, Wolf is launching his first radio ad ahead of the August primary featuring former Kansas Rep. Jim Ryun (R) touting Wolf as “the next Ted Cruz.” Ryun is chairman of the conservative group the Madison Project, which has endorsed Wolf. Senate Conservatives Fund has also backed Wolf. “You see, Milton Wolf is a doctor, not a politician, and they’re already calling him the next Ted Cruz [R-Texas],” Ryun says in the ad, a reference to an article in The Week examining whether he's trying to follow in Cruz's footsteps. He goes on to praise Wolf’s conservative credentials and his proclaimed goal of repealing and replacing ObamaCare. “You wanna drive President Obama crazy? Send Dr. Milton Wolf to the U.S. Senate,” Ryun says at the end of the ad.

For those of you who have been reading Legal Insurrection since the early days, the name Bill Owens may be familiar. Owens won the 2009 special election in what then was the NY-23 District (since reconfigured and now NY-21) against the insurgent conservative candidate Doug Hoffman.  In a precursor to the Tea Party uprising, Hoffman ran as a third party candidate and was surging ahead of liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava in a traditionally Republican District. Robert Stacy McCain did extensive on-the-ground reporting on the race, and has a special emnity for mainstream Republican endorsements of Scozaffava from Newt Gingrich and others: Twitter RS McCain Hoffman The Hoffman surge also was a chance for Democrats to test the Tea Party Demonization strategy that continues to this day. Rather than allow the conservative to win, Scozzafava dropped out of the race and backed Democrat Owens.  The influential Watertown Times also switched its endorsement based on Owens' promise to keep bringing home federal port to the district, something Hoffman opposed as a fiscal conservative. Here are some posts from way back:

NY-23, a Republican-leaning District that includes Ithaca and most of the Southern Tier, is a high profile target for national Democrats. The DCCC has it on its Jumpstart Candidate list and via PPP Polling is claiming the district is competitive. (See this critique of these PPP messaging polls.  Frankly, several of the PPP questions sound more like push polling.) Yet Martha Robertson, the Democratic challenger to incumbent Republican Tom Reed, has a fundraising problem as to which her campaign has been on virtual lockdown. Robertson sent a fundraising letter claiming her campaign had "caught" GOP operatives trying to take down her website. That pitch, just hours before the September 30 quarterly deadline, was meant to fill what the letter claimed was a fundraising shortfall. But the campaign repeatedly has refused media requests -- including by Legal Insurrection -- for proof of the accusation. In the one statement she did give on the situation, Robertson appeared to back away from the accusation of GOP hacking, merely stating that her website operator noticed suspicious activity. But neither Robertson nor the campaign has addressed the situation directly, drawing local television coverage. Now the Reed campaign is demanding Robertson admit to the false fundraising solicitation and return the money raised. Rep. Reed Calls on Robertson to Return Money Raised
(WETM-TV) – Congressman Tom Reed is calling on Democratic Challenger Martha Robertson to give back the money she raised from a September 30th e-mail to supporters where she claimed “GOP ops” were hacking her site. In an interview with the Star Gazette, Robertson said her web manager “noticed some very, very unusual activity,” but did not say the site was hacked.

Tom Cotton, running for Senate to unseat Mark Pryor in Arkansas, held a blogger telephone conference today. I sat in on it, breaking my usual policy of sitting in a hermetically sealed room with the drapes drawn and the lights out avoiding all human contact. All someone...

He's running for Senate in Arkansas in a bid to unseat Democrat Mark Pryor. I know almost nothing about Cotton or the Republican field.  Who else is expected to run in the Republican primary? This ad just released by Pryor attacking Cotton with the usual Democratic hyperbole and misdirection, tells me at least Pryor is worried: Expect Cotton or whoever the Republican nominee to hang Obamacare around Pryor's neck: Pryor plays pretty fast and loose with the facts:

Here we go. Saxby Chambliss will not be running for reelection in 2014: Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss said Friday he will not seek a third term next  year, expressing deep frustration with Washington gridlock that he doesn't see  changing in a divided government. Chambliss, 69, rejected suggestions he...

But I'm already sizing up Operation Counterweight Senate races for 2014. Don't look back is my motto. Roll Call has a list of Senate races and assessments.   Do any of them have serious primary challengers?  Lindsay Graham seems like he could be vulnerable in theory, but I...