A crazy person is running for Senate in Montana. If you didn’t know any better, you might reasonably assume that this candidate was nominated by the GOP. But you’d be wrong. Not this cycle, in which Republicans have largely avoided the missteps that cost it seats in 2010 and 2012, and have managed to assemble an impressive slate of candidates. For once, Democrats are a bigger embarrassment.
Meet Jerry Lundergan: father of Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, former chairman of the state Democratic Party, and loyal subject of the Clinton empire. With his “political ties, his flair for the dramatic and his deep-pocketed friends,” Lundergan is widely viewed as an asset to his daughter’s campaign. Here he is with a (relatively) younger Hillary Clinton in 2005:
A crucial New York Times analysis predicts that Republicans now have a 60 percent chance of controlling the Senate next year, with the most likely outcome being a 51-49 seat split following the midterm elections in November. Republican candidates have slight leads in swing states such as Michigan, Louisiana, Iowa, North Carolina, and are within striking distance in Alaska and Colorado.
MSNBC’s all-star panel of political experts, however, is far more optimistic about the Democratic Party’s chances. On “The Daily Rundown” this morning, host Chuck Todd discussed the midterm elections with the Washington Post’s Dan Balz, Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report, and Nathan Gonzales of the Rothenberg Political Report. And while they didn’t really make any predictions, they all seemed to think that Democrats were fairly well positioned compared to their GOP opponents.
Congress is working on a legislative solution to the immigrant children crisis on the southern border, which the Obama administration now admits they had anticipated back in January yet still did nothing to stop it.
As the Huffington Post reports, a 2008 anti-trafficking law, which many say has exacerbated the crisis, is at the center of the debate:
The law requires unaccompanied minors from countries other than Canada and Mexico to go through a hearing process to determine if they are eligible to remain in the U.S. through asylum or other relief. But the 57,000 unaccompanied minors who have illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border since October have overwhelmed the system, making the 2008 law seem unsustainable to many.
Republicans say the 2008 law must be changed as a condition of approving any funding for the crisis. Most Democrats say it should be left as is.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.), for example, who opposes a bipartisan bill that would reform the law, and make it easier for the U.S. to return non-Mexican immigrants to their countries of origin. He has dismissed the legislation, sponsored by Senator John Cornyn (R., Texas) and Representative Henry Cuellar (D., Texas), as another “crazy idea” from House Republicans. Reid has yet to produce legislation of his own to solve the problem.
Senate Majority Harry Reid (D., Nev.) knows a thing or two about making money. He has amassed a sizable fortune since getting elected to Congress in the 1980s, although it’s hard to say how he’s gotten so rich over the years.
Reid refuses to release his tax returns—but we do know that he has been on the winning end of a number of suspicious land deals in his home state.
Last month, Reid sold his home in Searchlight, Nevada to a gold-mining company for $1.75 million. Not bad. Maybe that explains this blinging watch and ring combo:
Senator Kay Hagan (D., N.C) visited a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Fayetteville on Monday, but the event was “closed to the media and she did not speak to reporters afterwards,” according to local news.
That’s par for the course for Hagan, who has a habit of fleeing from reporters who might ask her take a position on a controversial topic, such as Obamacare. With respect to the VA healthcare scandal, which looks worse by the day, Hagan waited a full month before releasing a public statement, and even then did not call for VA Secretary Erick Shinseki to resign. (Shinseki eventually resigned on May 30.)
While running for Senate in 2008, Hagan repeatedly promised to create a “world class” health-care system for veterans, and has recently boasted about “keeping our promise to our veterans.” But now, with a tough reelection fight ahead, she’d rather not answer any questions about it.
Senate aides tell the Free Beacon that Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) has “wait-listed” a bipartisan bill to reform the scandal-plagued Veterans Affairs healthcare system.
Before voting on the VA legislation, the Senate will take up Elizabeth’s Warren’s student loan bill, which coincides with President Obama’s latest executive action, announced at the White House on Monday.
Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn is hosting a fundraiser this evening at Manuel’s Tavern in Atlanta, Ga.
Nunn has long claimed that Manuel’s is the where she and her friends “started” Hands on Atlanta, the volunteer organization where she served as executive director. She often tells the story of how the group was inspired while “sitting around a table at Manuel’s” and “literally passed around empty beer mugs and asked people to pitch in what they could.”
It’s a nice story, and Nunn has used it in fundraising pitches:
But is it true?
The Washington Post reports that some Democrats aren’t too thrilled about the Obama administration’s announcement of new regulations on carbon emissions—namely, the ones facing reelection this year.
Democratic strategists understand the political implications for their clients:
“If I were running, I would get the governor to sue and try to tie it up in the courts,” said Jim Cauley, a Kentucky-based Democratic strategist who managed Obama’s first Senate campaign. “Coal has just become the cultural litmus test as to whose side you are on.”
Chris Lehane, a liberal political strategist/crisis management expert who advises eco-billionaire Tom Steyer, agrees that Democrats shouldn’t dwell on the climate change issue, but should totally try to scare people into voting for Democrats: