Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest: Watch out for this dangerous new ballot measure in Michigan
• Michigan: Welcome to the Hotel California. A front group called the Michigan Alliance for Prosperity, apparently backed by the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, just submitted almost twice as many signatures as required to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall. The measure would require a two-thirds vote of the state legislature to raise any taxes—a move conservatives love, of course, and one which would also put the state on a path to being as ungovernable as California.
As you may know, the notorious 1978 ballot initiative in the Golden State called Proposition 13 imposed the same requirement on the California legislature, paving the way for regular cutbacks of government services because tiny minorities of Republicans can block any proposed tax hike. The proposed Michigan amendment has received little attention so far, but it may be one of the most important measures on the ballot this November.
• CA-26: Julia Brownley (D): $637K raised, $320K cash-on-hand
• CO-03: Sal Pace (D): $410K raised, $790K cash-on-hand
• CT-Sen: Rep. Chris Murphy (D): $1.2 mil raised, $3.1 mil cash-on-hand
• IL-10: Brad Schneider (D): $582K raised, $567K cash-on-hand
• IN-02: Jackie Walorski (R): $330K raised, $720K cash-on-hand
• KY-06: Rep. Ben Chandler (D): $398K raised, $1.3 mil cash-on-hand; Andy Barr (R): $392K raised, $758K cash-on-hand
• MN-02: Rep. John Kline (R): $428K raised, $1.3 mil cash-on-hand
• NH-02: Annie Kuster (D): $484K raised
• NM-Sen: Rep. Martin Heinrich (D): $1.4 mil raised, $1.8 mil cash-on-hand
• PA-07: Rep. Pat Meehan (R): ~$500K raised, $1.4 mil cash-on-hand
• WA-10: Denny Heck (D): $310K raised, $1.1 mil cash-on-hand
• House Majority PAC: $4.3 mil raised
• AZ-Sen: Ironically enough, businessman Wil Cardon is out with two new 15-second ads hitting his GOP primary opponent, Rep. Jeff Flake, for being soft on illegal immigration—a day after the Arizona Republic published a big story showing that Cardon is far from pure when it comes to immigration matters himself. A brief summary:
In the case of immigration, some of Cardon’s business interests have drawn scrutiny from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. A Subway franchise company co-owned by Cardon was fined three years ago for federal violations related to failure to document the legal status of more than 150 employees suspected of being illegal immigrants, federal and state records show.Investigators for ICE reported that nearly half of the 315 employees at some Subway restaurants owned by RCC Partners were believed to be “undocumented alien workers.” Investigators also reported that their employer failed to comply with federal employment-eligibility paperwork. Two of the ownership groups for RCC Partners are at least partly owned by Cardon, according to state corporate records.
Cardon’s campaign is trying to defend their candidate by saying he “never exercised day-to-day control over this business.” But Flake trackers have caught Cardon on tape claiming to be a very hands-on sort of guy, saying stuff like “the best way” to run a business is via “walk-around management” which means “you have to go out there” to the actual stores—something Cardon said he does “every day.”
Flake immediately pounced, launching an ad attacking Cardon for hiring illegal aliens on the basis of this report. The spot is reportedly “part of a $200,000 statewide broadcast and cable television buy.” Cardon also has yet another ad out, in which he runs off a list of fairly generic “he’s not really a conservative” hits against Flake. But right now, Cardon is the one on the defensive.
• HI-Sen: Dem Rep. Mazie Hirono’s new minute-long ad starts out with a very compelling story she tells herself—about how her mother plotted to flee an abusive husband in Japan and literally “set sail for America” aboard the S.S. President Cleveland with an eight-year-old Mazie in tow. Halfway through, though, the spot abruptly changes gears, with Hirono saying how the experience taught her to be “self-reliant”… and then an announcer chiming in with her five-point plan to make Hawaii “more energy- and food-independent, too.” I personally think the first half of the ad would stand well on its own.
• MI-Sen: If businessman Clark Durant, who’s running out of time to make a dent into ex-Rep. Pete Hoekstra’s big lead in the GOP primary, is going up on the air with a reported $385K buy. Durant unveiled the ad a month ago but apparently is only now airing it; the spot touts his work running a network of Christian private schools and taking over a bankrupt railroad. (I thought conservatives hated trains?)
Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow just announced she purchased $3.3 million in television ad time for the fall campaign. Despite the huge expenditure, she still has $4.5 mil left on hand as of the end of the second quarter.
• MO-Sen: So it turns out that Republican John Brunner also paid taxes on a private plane late—a revelation about Dem Sen. Claire McCaskill last year that the GOP has been eager to exploit. There’s a pretty considerable difference in size, though: Brunner’s company, Vi-Jon Services, was fined $700 for late payment. McCaskill, however, owed $300K. I guess, though, that this puts Brunner in the situation of having to explain the distinction, rather than being able to make a clean hit on the incumbent.
• MT-, OH-, VA-Sen: Crossroads GPS, the worst charity in the world, just launched three more ads in three hotly contested Senate races, claiming they’re putting $2.5 million behind the whole effort. The Huffington Post says that nearly half is going to their Ohio spot, which uses a variety of imagery from different game shows (Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy, etc.) to castigate Dem Sen. Sherrod Brown for being the “biggest supporter of the Obama agenda in Ohio.”
Meanwhile, the Virginia spot goes after Democrat Tim Kaine on another one of those “check out this goofy thing in the stimulus!” plot lines. This time, it’s “studying ants… in Africa!” ZOMG! And finally, the Montana ad attacks Dem Sen. Jon Tester, telling the usual lies about the Affordable Care Act.