Early Tuesday Morning Quick Hits

  • Kentucky: Among the high-profile officials joining state Attorney General Jack Conway at his 2010 Senate campaign kick-off was Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson.  The early endorsement battle between Democratic primary combatants Lieutenant Governor Dan Mongiardo and Attorney General Conway stand at: Gov. Steve Beshear for Mongiardo; and, Louisville Mayor Abramson, Congressmen Ben Chandler and John Yarmuth, state Auditor Crit Luallen, and state House Speaker Greg Stumbo for Attorney General Conway.  Needless to say, Attorney General Conway is winning the battle.  Some still-to-endorse Democratic officials whose endorsements would be of interest include: state Treasurer Todd Hollenbach, state Senate Democratic Leader Ed Worley, and Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry.
  • South Carolina: Democratic State Senator Brad Hutto is publicly considering a challenge to Republican freshman Jim DeMint for Senate in 2010.  Hutto says that he has not laid out a timetable for deciding on a run, but his rhetoric lays out very clearly the choice South Carolinians have:

    As the nation struggles with its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression some in Washington are fighting a rear-guard action to block the President Obama’s stimulus plan.And among them, U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, is jockeying to become leader of the heel-dragging pack.

    This professional ad man knows the importance of burnishing his brand. He has become a stock fixture on the national media circuit. If you need someone to defend the failed economic policies of former president George Bush, schedule Jim DeMint for your show.

    DeMint’s ideas sound good to a dwindling number of true-believers who think tax cuts can solve any problem and that magical forces will repair an economy in disarray without public intervention.

    What’s becoming increasingly apparent is that DeMint is not only out of step with Democrats and moderate Republicans, but that he is also out of touch with the real world – the one where South Carolinians live. …

    DeMint is using one of South Carolina’s seats in the U.S. Senate to act like a hedge fund manager – trying to lure citizens and donors to bet that the economic failure his party created will worsen.

    South Carolinians can’t afford to be so cynical.

    Damn.  That’s the kind of fire that gets a candidate added to the Expand the Map! ActBlue page.  Of course, any Democrat would have an uphill battle in South Carolina, but it would help to have a credible challenger with strong rhetoric like State Senator Hutto to help Democrats’ political organization statewide and take advantage of any DeMint slip-ups.  The 50-state strategy must live on – we’ll see if State Senator Hutto is a part of that.

  • Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania Progressive brings us some of Peg Luksik’s greatest hits via YouTube.  Luksik, you may recall, is the anti-choice extremist in the PA-GOP 2010 Senate primary.  Luksik will allow Pat Toomey to say to Republican primary voters ‘Arlen Specter is too liberal and Luksik is too unelectably extreme, while I’m the electable conservative voice for Pennsylvania.’
  • Illinois: A sordid tale is emerging about members of Illinois’ politically active Indian community allegedly offering impeached former Gov. Rod Blagojevich that Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. would help raise $5 million for Blagojevich’s gubernatorial campaign fund in exchange for the Senate appointment.  It is unclear from these accounts what role Congressman Jackson played in authorizing these alleged overtures, and I would imagine that Congressman Jackson will deny everything.  However, given that Illinois Democrats will likely want to avoid any hint of scandal with their 2010 Senate nomination, this probably puts a damper on any Senate plans that Jackson may have been contemplating.

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