2012 KY-3 Congressional race

Fineman on Basketball

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March 27, 2012
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I’m probably the only blogger here who doesn’t care all that much about college basketball (as my bracket attests), and to me, this month is largely about drinking margaritas and discussing feminism once a week to celebrate Women’s History Month. But when March madness comes along, I usually throw my allegiances toward Western, my alma mater (go Topps!) and UofL, my adopted home team. My general disinterest in the sport has not stopped several people from sending me this Howard Fineman piece on the intrastate rivalry, however, so I thought I’d share. Frankly, I will be relieved when this is all over, so we can focus on the things that are really important, like political politics and baseball.

(edit: decent WSJ coverage as well)

KY Congressional Redistricting Stalemate

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February 8, 2012
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Not only did Kentucky House and Senate leaders screw up the state legislature redistricting, they appear to have hit a dead end on the mandated 10-year re-draw of Congressional districts.

The House favored a bill which would have strengthened Ben Chandler in the 6th (after he eked out a 600 vote victory, one vote per precinct, in 2010) and bettered Dem chances in the 1st and 5th while making the already Awesome 3rd even more Awesome.

The Senate Republicans, on the other hand, sought to maintain the Republican strength in the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th, and attack Chandler in the 6th.

House leader Greg Stumbo and 5th District porker Hal Rogers came up with something of a compromise, House Republican leader Jeff Hoover was kinda on board, but the Senate Republicans weren’t having it, especially Damon Thayer who, having already tried to disenfranchise the voters of Fayette County, mitched and boehned about a perceived “damage” to Fayette by allowing the 6th to get Bluer.

The filing deadline for Congressional seats, already extended a week, was today.

Mr. Gerth @ the CJ:

The House and Senate failed to reach a compromise Tuesday on a new congressional redistricting plan as the filing deadline passed — and House Speaker Greg Stumbo said legislators likely won’t try to change the current district lines this session.

He conceded, however, that such an approach would likely be ruled unconstitutional if challenged in court.

A decade after the current lines were drawn, the districts vary considerably in population — in violation of court standards — and Stumbo said he didn’t believe they would withstand scrutiny.

Should a candidate (Barr, etc) or a national party (GOP, etc) challenge the lack of new districting, Stumbo thinks the courts will just do the drawing.

Meanwhile…

Four of Kentucky’s five incumbent congressmen will have no opposition in the state’s May 22 primary.

And Rep. John Yarmuth, D-3rd District, is facing only a perennial candidate, Burrel Charles Farnsley, as a primary opponent and a relatively unknown Republican, Brooks Wicker, for the general election, according to filings in the Kentucky secretary of state’s office. The filing deadline was Tuesday.

The 1st (Whitfield) has two Dems in the Primary, the 2nd (Guthrie) is probably already over, the 5th (Rogers) possibly bought and paid for, and the 6th a grudge match between Garland Barr and Ben Chandler.

In the 4th, where Geofferson Davis is giving up his seat to “spend more time with his family,” there are two Dems and five Republicans.

William Adkins, the chairman of the Grant County Democratic Party, filed Tuesday to run in Kentucky’s Fourth Congressional District seat occupied by U.S. Rep. Geoff Davis, R-Hebron.

….Adkins will face Greg Frank, of Corinth, in the Democratic primary.

 

Chandler raising cash, 6th District getting bluer

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October 25, 2011
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Via Southern Political Report:

Fundraising reports filed with the Federal Elections Committee (FEC) at the end of the 3rd Quarter show that on average, Southern Democratic incumbents who were elected with less than 55 percent of the vote last year have done a better job of bringing in the dough than the similarly vulnerable Republicans.

The eight Democrats from the South who managed to avoid the GOP sweep in 2010, but still had close races, have so far raised a total of $4,283,000 dollars, or an average of $535,000 each.

….On the Democratic side, the top money raisers were second-termer Gerry Connolly (D-VA) with $843,000, four-term Ben Chandler (D-KY) at $720,000, and nine-term Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) with $682,000. Bringing up the rear were ten-term Sanford Bishop – who got helped by redistricting – with $369,000, and three-term John Yarmuth (D-KY) with $216,000.

And from Roll Call:

Chandler, a Democrat, won by only 647 votes last year, and he’ll be on the ballot next year with President Barack Obama in a state and a district that will favor the GOP nominee.

Still, it’s the Republican who appears to be at a disadvantage a little more than a year before the election.

Kentucky’s redistricting process is unfinished, but Republican strategists familiar with the state told Roll Call that the odds were for the decennial Congressional map redraw to favor Chandler and other incumbents. A slightly more Democratic 6th district could have a big effect for Chandler, a Blue Dog.

Yarmuth fundraising for 2012 re-election run

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March 30, 2011
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I was a little concerned by John Yarmuth’s lukewarm response to whether he was going to run for re-election last week, but Yarmuth just sent out a fundraising email that should put such concerns to rest. Here’s the text:

Since taking the House in January, Republicans in Congress have launched full-scale assaults on the rights of workers and women, undermined environmental protections, and cut vital funding for everyone from pregnant women and students to firefighters and nurses, and even seniors and veterans.

They tell us it’s because they’re concerned about the deficit, but their actions tell a different story. While demanding sacrifice from America’s hardest working and most vulnerable citizens they are also giving $700 billion in additional tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires.

It’s a tired, old, Republican bait and switch that has stymied opportunities for American families for decades, and it’s time we put a stop to it.

*****

I am grateful for the support you have given me the past few years and am proud to have fought in Congress for your priorities—the priorities of Louisville’s working families—for more than four years. But stopping the reckless right-wing Republican agenda means competing against the now legal, unlimited funds of their corporate sponsors. And I must ask for your help again.

*****

Thank you so much for the support you have given me over the years. I am honored to serve as your ally and confident that working together we will score another victory for Louisville families!

Sounds like he wants to keep Louisville Yarmuth.

For fans of Awesomeness, and those so inclined, here’s where you would do that.

Yarmuth plans on running for re-election (as of now)

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March 23, 2011
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I would have preferred “Yes! Yes! 110%, yes!”, but this will have to do.

“At this point, I have no reason to believe that I wouldn’t seek re-election. I think its going to be a good year for Democrats, particularly in the 3rd district, whatever the 3rd district looks like, President Obama is still very popular in the 3rd district. I would hope that we have a chance to retake the majority in the House, then I could work on things like tax equity, and maybe public financing of campaigns, and some things that are very significant to me.”

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