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Category Archive for ‘Alaska’ at Campaign Diaries
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Archive for the 'Alaska' Category


Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

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Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

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Poll watch: Crist in free fall, Burr under 50, Alaska Republicans looking safe

Charlie Crist is in free fall. Just one week after Quinnipiac released the very first poll with Marco Rubio leading the Florida Governor in the GOP’s Senate primary, Rasmussen finds Crist even further down: Rubio leads 49% to 37%, a dramatic turnaround from the December tie and from Crist’s 22% August lead. Crist has sure not said his last word, but given that Rubio is just starting closing the name recognition gap the governor certainly has his work cut out for him.

It is important to keep in mind that Crist’s collapse has at least as much to do with the woes that are befell incumbent governors as with conservatives’ hostility: His approval rating among the electorate at large has fallen to 51% to 47%. That might be a respectable level, but it is nowhere near’s Crist 74-26 in December 2008, his 60-36 in June 2009 and his 52-45 in December - an undeniable downward trend that creates quite a conondrum for the governor: The hard right has long already turned against him, and Rubio has an excellent shot of winning the support of moderate Republicans who disapprove of Crist for reasons that little to do with conservatism.

Both Republicans crush Kendrick Meek in the general election: Rubio leads 49% to 32% and Crist leads 49% to 33%. As I have written before, Florida is undeniably not in the top-tier of Democratic opportunities, but it is worth waiting to see what the numbers will look like at the end of August, when Meek will have spent the summer introducing himself to voters while his two rivals will have poured in their millions into attacking each other.

Rasmussen’s gubernatorial poll of Florida’s Governor race confirms what Quinnipiac found last week: Republican Bill McCollum has opened a lead against Democrat Alex Sink: He is up 46% to 35%, whereas he had a 5% edge in December. While Sink’s name recognition is lower, her net favorability rating is surprisingly mediocre (39-34) while McCollum’s is solid (53-30). Sink will also have to struggle with Barack Obama’s dismal approval rating (42-58), which is all the more interesting considering Rasmussen’s North Carolina poll, which I discuss below, finds his rating at a stronger 48-52.

Alaska: Murkowski is safe, Young is strong

While PPP’s Alaska survey contains no surprise, it is newsworthy considering how rarely the state is polled. PPP found that both of the GOP’s federal incumbents - Senator Lisa Murkowski, Rep. Don Young - enter 2010 in a strong position to secure an additional term.

Murkowski faced a very tough race in 2004, when she was plagued by nepotism charges since her father appointer her to the Senate. Yet, she has a decent approval rating in 2010: 52% to 36%. PPP did not test a named opponent, since none has emerged, by the senator does lead a generic Democrat by a solid 52% to 25% - a margin that bears no trace of vulnerability.

Young’s standing is not as solid but the representative enters 2010 in a far stronger position than he looked to be in 2008, when he barely survived the Republican primary and the general election. His approval rating is still mediocre (43% approve, 41% disapprove) but he has a large 49% to 34% lead against state Rep. Harry Crawford. While his failure to break 50% threshold does suggest he is not fully safe, he spent much of 2008 trailing Ethan Berkowitz by decisive margins before emerging as the victor in November so Democrats would understimate him at their peril. Furthermore, Young has long faced ethical questions but rumors that he might be indicted have been circulating long enough that it does not look like he has to worry about meeting Ted Stevens’s fate.

NC: Even Rasmussen has Burr under 50% while Civitas shows open primary

Senator Richard Burr is holding on to his dubious distinction of the cycle’s most (only?) endangered Republican Senator: A new Rasmussen poll has him under the 50% threshold against Secretary of State Elaine Marshall, though he leads 47% to 37%. Against former state Senator Cal Cunningham, Burr is ahead by a larger 50% to 34%.

That said, it obviously says a lot about the shape of the cycle that the most vulnerable Republican is ahead by double-digits. Furthermore, Rasmussen has his approval rating far stronger than other pollsters: 56-32. This goes against the main finding of surveys like PPP and Civitas, which had shown that Burr was surprisingly little-known; for instance, PPP’s latest poll had Burr’s approval rating at 36/33. Don’t be surprised if the DSCC pays more attention to the state than Burr’s numbers might warrant: Democrats would be well-served to force the GOP to serve some of its resources in North Carolina, since that is money that cannot be used in states like California or Wisconsin.

For now, Democrats’ main hope is that their candidates gain notoriety in the run-up to the May primary, just as had happened to Kay Hagan in 2008. A Civitas poll released last week confirms that none are imposing figures: Marshall only gets 14%, Lewis gets 7% and Cunningham gets 4%, with 75% of respondents undecided. This means the next few months might be decisive as these Democrats will have a chance to monopolize the press coverage and the state’s airwaves without facing a barrage of GOP ads seeking to define them. (I would be surprised if the Marshall-Cunningham-Lewis showdown grows very negative, let alone as ugly as it would need to get for the nominee to emerge wounded out of the primary.)

WI: Disappointing poll for Tom Barrett

Democrats have been upbeat about their chances to defend Wisconsin’s governorship ever since Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett entered the race, but Rasmussen finds him trailing his two Republican opponents: 42% to 38% against former Rep. Mark Neumann and a decisive 48% to 38% against Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. The favorability ratings confirm not only that Barrett might not be as popular as he has been touted to be, but also that Walker could be a formidable force: his rating is 56-27, compared to 46-35 for Neumann and 44-41 for Barrett.

These numbers might matter beyond the Governor’s race. I doubt there have been any public polls testing the Republican primary, but based on Rasmussen’s favorability ratings it certainly is not a stretch to describe Neumann as the underdog against Walker. That’s exactly what Republicans have been saying in making the case that Neumann should switch over to the Senate race if Tommy Thompson decides not to challenge Russ Feingold.

That said, a party often “wastes” candidates on one race while neglecting another so it would certainly not be surprising for Neumann to stick in the Governor’s race. (One precedent that comes to mind is North Carolina in 2008: The DSCC was pleading with Lieutenant Governor Beverly Perdue and Treasurer Richard Moore to have one of them challenge Elizabeth Dole rather than go after each other in the gubernatorial primary. At the end of the day, none of it mattered because of Kay Hagan but Democrats could not have known just how weak of an incumbent Dole would turn out to be.)


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Weekly 2010 update: House Dems get themselves 2 unexpected headaches

Last night, city comptroller Annise Parker was elected Mayor of Houston on a 53% to 47% vote, making Houston the largest city to elect a gay mayor after a runoff election that was marked by explicitly homophobic campaigning. This vote added to gay rights activists’ ballot-box successes this year: Washington State passing RI-71, Chapel Hill’s mayoral race, a local referendum in Kalamazoo, Georgia electing its first gay African-American legislator. That track record has been understandably overshadowed by Maine’s vote on gay marriage, but Parker’s victory (combined with California preparing to elect its first gay Speaker) caps the year favorably.

In national politics, this week’s dominant story is that House Democrats got themselves two unexpected headaches. First is Brian Baird’s out-of-nowhere retirement announcement, which makes the swing WA-03 district a prime pick-up opportunity for the GOP; second, Neil Abercrombie’s resignation creates a tricky special election that gives a Republican a chance to capture HI-01 with a plurality of the vote. The other high-profile development came from MA, where Martha Coakley and Scott Brown won their party’s nominations to face off in the January Senate special election. In other news:

In Nevada, Harry Reid’s prospects might still take a turn for the worse. Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki, who was at the top of the NRSC’s list when the cycle started, was eliminated from contention when he was indicted on charges of misappropriation and falsification of accounts. This week, a court dismissed the charges as overly vague, potentially enabling Krolicki to mount a challenge to the Senate Majority Leader. While his spokesperson initially said he would not be running but reports now say he is considering jumping in. We would have to see how much lasting damage Krolicki’s image endured because of his indictment, but his entry should still be a step-up for the GOP.

In Rhode Island, Linc Chaffee’s prospects of winning the Governor’s Mansion improved this week as the sole Republican in the race (businessman Rory Smith) announced he was dropping out. If the GOP fails to file a credible contender, Chaffee would become the contest’s right-most option despite the fact that he will be running as an independent. Rhode Island is a staunchly blue state in Democrats have a strong bench, but a Lieberman-Lamont type scenario would help the former Senator’s political comeback.

In Alaska, Governor Sean Parnell (who was elevated to that position after Sarah Palin’s resignation) got himself a primary challenger:  former Speaker Ralph Samuels, who left the legislature in 2008 to work as a vice-president for Holland America Line. Samuels made it clear that the catalyst that pushed him towards a run was Parnell’s support for taxes on oil companies Palin pushed during her tenure. As such, it will be interesting to see how fiscal conservatives react considering Parnell has been a protege of the Club for Growth.

In South Dakota, Matt McGovern dropped out of the Senate race, depriving Democrats of the one challenger they had found to John Thune. The party would be well-advised to field a credible contender: While Thune will be the overwhelming favorite no matter who Democrats nominate, if he does not have to work for his re-election at all he would be free to travel around the country, building a network that would be useful for a future presidential campaign.

In Idaho, it’s still highly unlikely that Governor Butch Otter will have to sweat to win re-election; but from the sound of this article, the state’s political establishment was shocked to learn that former professor Keith Allred would challenge him as a Democrat. Allred had formed a citizens group that had acquired clout in Boise, and he had a nonpartisan profile that had won him many allies in both parties. Democrats now seem delighted at his unexpected gubernatorial candidacy, which could make the race worth watching - but the bottom line is that Idaho is ranked the 35th most vulnerable race (out of 37) in my latest gubernatorial ratings.

Finally, we are still waiting to find out whether to Southern senators will face primary challenges. This week, the buzz surrounding Louisiana Secretary of State Jay Dardenne and Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Brian Halter increased, as the former stated again that he was considering challenging David Vitter and the latter traveled to D.C. to meet with some union leaders and progressives about the possibility he might run against Blanche Lincoln.

As always, I list all the changes I have logged in during the week to the “retirement watch” and recruitment pages. First, updates to Retirement Watch:

Will retire Rep. Brian Baird (WA-04)
Will resign Rep. Brian Abercrombie (HI-01)
Will not resign Rep. Mike Capuano (MA-08)

Second, updates to the Senate recruitment page:

KY-Sen, Dem doctor James Buckmaster is running
retired customs officer Darlene Price is running
businessman Maurice Sweeney is running
KY-Sen, GOP businessman Bill Johnson is running
Gurley Martin is running
consultant Roger Thoney is running
MA-Sen, Dem Attorney General Martha Coakley won nomination
MA-Sen, GOP state Senator Scott Brown won nomination
NC-Sen, Dem former state Sen. Cal Cunningham announced run
Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy wlll not run
NV-Sen, GOP Lieutenant Governor Brian Krolicki added
SD-Sen, Dem Matt McGovern dropped out

Third, updates to gubernatorial races:

AK-Gov, GOP former state Rep. Ralph Samuels announced run
ID-Gov, Dem Keith Allred announced run
NH-Gov, GOP Karen Testerman announced run
OR-Gov, Dem Soloflex founder Jerry Wilson is running
RI-Gov, GOP businessman Rory Smith dropped out
TX-Gov, Dem teacher Felix Alvarado is running
Bill Dear is running
hair products magnate Farouk Shami is running

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GOP candidates are popping up in House races, including one who’ll challenge a Republican

AK-AL: Don Young’s second opponent is a Republican

Don Young’s re-election prospects have gotten unexpectedly complicated in recent weeks. As it became clear that his two 2008 opponents would not seek a rematch - Sean Parnell replaced Sarah Palin as Governor and Ethan Berkowitz is running for Governor as well - it looked like Young might be spared that competitive a race. But that was before Democratic state Rep. Harry Crawford entered the contest, guaranteeing that the race will be worth watching.

Now, the ethically embattled Young has another challenger to worry about - this time a Republican. A former state legislator, radio talk show host Andrew Halcro has announced he will run. His conservative profile means we should have a repeat of the 2008 primary, in which the Club for Growth-endorsed Parnell hit Young for fiscal irresponsibility (Young barely survived after weeks of counting). On labor and fiscal matters, Young is a rare Republican moderate: one of the few who voted in favor of EFCA in 2007, he often bucks his party on appropriation votes.

Yet, there is one major twist. In 2008, Parnell represented the Palin wing of the Alaska party - the one that claims to prefer fiscal restraint and makes a big show of refusing stimulus funds rather than the one that prides itself on securing congressional earmarks. Halcro might use similar arguments as Parnell did, but he will do so as a one of the state’s most outspoken opponents of Palin: Ever since receiving 10% in an independent bid for Governor in 2006, he has been a conservative critic of the governor. That makes it highly unlikely Palin or Parnell will get involved in next year’s primary.

It will be interesting to see whether the Club is interested in getting involved again; Alaska is certainly a cheap enough state that they can do so without draining their financial resources - and for once they couldn’t be accused of helping Democrats pick-up a seat. Indeed, Crawford would probably prefer facing Young than Halcro: Alaska is red enough that it’s unlikely a Republican without any ethical baggage loses a statewide race. Even if Young is a towering figure in state politics, the bottom line is that he is under federal investigation and might be indicted any moment.

Combine the fact that the DCCC’ best chance is to face Young and the fact that Democrats can at least count on Young’s vote on some issues whereas they’d have nothing to expect from a new-guard Republican congressman, and we’re left with the rare conclusion that Democrats could be better-off having an incumbent survive a primary challenge.

In Dem-held districts, meanwhile, NRCC scores or nears recruitment coups

The most noteworthy is former U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan, who announced he will run for Joe Sestak’s open House seat. Given that Meehan was deemed credible enough to be a top-tier gubernatorial contender, he should be quite formidable in a congressional race and he makes PA-07 far more competitive than it would be otherwise. The only reason I am not making a bigger deal out of this is that I already wrote a lengthy analysis when the rumors first started, so I refer you back to this post.

In AR-02, the NRCC has been talking up its chances against entrenched Blue Dog Vic Snyder for months. According to a Politico report, it might be on its way towards recruiting a top-tier candidate as former U.S. Attorney Tim Griffin is considering the race. I will wait for Griffin to actually make an announcement before analyzing this in more detail, however, because for now I share SSP’s skepticism: Griffin was expected to run for Senate until he ruled out a run this spring. Given that he could have cleared the GOP primary (unlike Meehan in PA) and that Lincoln is far more obviously vulnerable that Snyder, why would he do so only to consider a House race months later?

In the NH-02 open seat, the GOP is close to getting its wish: former Rep. Charlie Bass now says he is leaning towards seeking his old seat back. His 2006 defeat is enough not to make him that formidable a candidate, but Republicans don’t have enough of a NH bench left to be picky. If Bass does get in, it would make NH-02 a key 2010 battleground. There is also speculation that the NRCC might land a state Senator in TX-17, the most Republican district represented by a Democrat; Chet Edwards survived with only 53% against a low-tier candidate last year, so a higher-profile contender would go a long way towards making him endangered.

OH-18: GOP does find a state Senator after all

Back in August, the last of the 3 Republican legislators mentioned as challengers to Rep. Zach Space announced he would not run in 2010. With the NRCC clearly disappointed, I wrote that this would force the NRCC to find a Plan B and reduce Space’s vulnerability. I might have spoken a bit too soon, as a state Senator is getting in after all: Bob Gibbs just filed a candidacy statement, giving Republicans a higher profile candidate than I expected them to land at this point. That said, Gibbs does not look like he is a top-tier contender like the Republicans who declined the race.

While some of his legislative district falls in the 18th congressional District, most of it is in the 16th District. This obviously reduces Gibbs’ appeal since most of Space’s constituents have no exposure to him - not to mention that he will have to campaign in unfamiliar territory. Furthermore, the one county he represents that falls in the 18th District is staunchly conservative so Gibbs has no track record as to how he will fare in more competitive areas. Finally, Gibbs served in the state House until 2009, which further reduces the share of the district he has a history representing.


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As California special belies narrative of turnout gap, DCCC lands recruits in Alaska, Florida

I lost track of House races over the past 10 days, despite several important developments that should impact the 2010 landscape. Here’s my attempt to play catch-up.

Garamendi close to winning CA-10 special

Earlier this year, California Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi dropped out of the gubernatorial race to run for the special election in CA-10. The contest’s first round was held last Tuesday, and Garamendi came out on top of a crowded field of 14 candidates, with 26% compared to 20% for Republican David Harmer and 18% for his closest Democratic competitor, state Senator Mark DeSaulnier. Every candidate ran on the same ballot and the top vote-getters from each party advance to the general election, so even if DeSaulnier had beaten Harmer the latter would still have moved on.

Given the district’s heavily Democratic nature - Obama beat McCain 65% to 33% - there is little doubt that Garamendi will beat Harmer in the runoff, nor does it look like Democrats have anything to fear an enthusiasm gap: Combined, the four Democratic candidates got more than 64% on Tuesday, compared to 34% for the Republican contenders. The similarity between that balance of power and last November’s results is the latest piece of evidence that Democrats don’t it that bad heading into 2010.

The near certainty that Garamendi will soon resign to head to Congress creates a fascinating question in local politics: Who will Arnold Schwarzenegger appoint to replace him? California Republicans have a relatively thin statewide bench, so will  Schwarzenegger look to build up his party by elevating someone who can later run for office? Will he seek to improve his standing among conservatives or perhaps signal to Democrats that he is ready to compromise in his last year by appointing one of them?

2008’s most shocking survivor should face competitive race

In 2008, no incumbent’s survival was as shocking as Don Young’s. Helped by his status as one of Alaska’s most legendary politicians and boosted by Sarah Palin’s coattails, the embattled Republican scored upsets in both the GOP primary and in the general election. But that did not make him safe heading into 2010: Ethical questions are still swirling, the threat of an indictement is still hanging in the air and state Democrats should be in a better position in a non-presidential year. As a result, I made AK-AL one of just 6 GOP-held toss-ups in my House ratings.

Yet, it was starting to look unlikely Democrats would field a strong enough challenger to take advantage of Young’s troubles: His 2008 opponent Ethan Berkowitz is eying the Governor’s race and state Senator Hollis French is mentioned for the Senate race. But last week emerged Harry Crawford, a state representative since 2000.

Alaska representatives might not have big enough constituencies to be obviously formidable contenders in statewide races, but given the extent of Young’s troubles Democrats do not necessarily need their strongest possible competitor: Someone who can look like a credible candidate, be treated seriously by the press and attract the support of the national party should be enough to make the race worth watching - and Crawford looks to fit the bill. In his candidacy announcement, he has already made it clear he would put ethics at the center of his campaign.

Democrats recruit against Rooney

St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Craft declared his candidacy in Florida’s 16th District - and that very well make the race worth following at some point in the future. But the 36-year old Craft has work to do before making FL-16 a good opportunity for Democrats. A red-leaning district, FL-16 reverted back to form with Tom Rooney’s victory against Rep. Tim Mahoney - and Rooney was already looking like a slight favorite before Mahoney’s prospects were annihilated by a sexual harassment scandal.

Also, St. Lucie is only one of eight counties that make up the sprawling FL-16, so Craft’s constituency doesn’t represent a sizable enough portion of the district to make him an automatically formidable contender. From the looks of an early interview, it looks like he will campaign as a centrist; he for instance chastised House Democrats for including abortion provisions in the health care bills.

And the good news for the GOP: Dahlkemper gets first challenger

In a red-leaning district that voted for John McCain by just 17 votes last November, it did not take long for the NRCC to take aim at freshman Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper, a Blue Dog Democrat who is a critic of a public health care plan. But the lack of a Republican willing to challenge Dahlkemper kept the race from being a top GOP prospect. It looks like that is now changing: former Erie County Solicitor John A. Onorato is all but ready to announce that he will challenge Dahlkemper in 2010.

Erie County might be one of eight counties in the district, but it makes up more than 40% of PA-3 so Onorato definitely has a good geographical base from which to proceed. Also, Erie is the district’s most Democratic part as it gave Dahlkemper a 57-43 margin in 2008 (Obama won the county by 20%). If Onorato can hold down Dahlkemper’s margin in Erie, he could be well positioned to win districtwide. The catch is that Dahlkemper is also from Erie (as was the incumbent Republican she beat in 2008), so we’ll have to see how all of this affects the race.


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Palin’s resignation, take 2

Once again, the political world is buzzing about Sarah Palin. 10 months after John McCain’s ushered her on the national stage, the ambitious Alaska Governor abruptly exited the one elected office she’s ever held over a jurisdiction of more than 6,000 inhabitants.

As was the case for much of the 2008 election, Palin remains an enigma. Her persona, her politics and her rhetoric could hardly be more predictable; but how can we not be continuously stunned by her ability to gather huge and adoring crowds, by her willingness to make unconventional decisions, by the sincerity of her disregard for the value of truth and by her apparent conviction that making Bush look like a policy wonk is an asset?

Palin’s latest move is jaw-dropping not only because no one saw it coming but because she offered no clear explanation for resigning. She gave the impression that she simply woke up one morning and decided she had had enough, which raises obvious questions about her reliability and about how seriously she was taking her job.

I have been trying to think of any other politician who similarly walked away from an office for no clearly stated reason. The only person I can think of who comes remotely close is former Senator Trent Lott, who outrageously quit his Senate position a year before his term was up in order to take a lobbying job just before a new ethics law restricting the options of former legislators was to come into effect. [Correction: A commenter rightly corrects me and points out that Lott resigned a year into his term - which  in my opinion only makes it worse.] Given that Palin’s resignation might also have been motivated by the quest of financial profit, pointing to Lott’s precedent will not help her look any less bizarre.

Of course, the Governor didn’t even explain her decision as much as Lott had. Her decision looks so irrational that it is beyond defense, beyond justification. Sure, government would be better if politicians were more willing to resign, but that doesn’t make it okay to abandon your responsibilities without any change in circumstances.

Palin looks to be just as confused than we are. Her rambling statement made Mark Sanford’s press conference look like model of coherence. She mentioned her family and the financial costs of responding to ethical inquiries. She explained that she did not want to be one of those lame-duck governors who stays in office despite announcing a retirement, which is apparently a symptom of conventional thinking (if every term-limited governor resigned a few months into a second term, imagine how much chaos there would be) but insisted that she wants to keep fighting for her causes.

(I do hope that Palin’s defenders will stop referring to her desire to be with her family, however. After the 2008 campaign in which her entourage expressed outrage that anyone would question that a woman can occupy public office while having young children, it would be quite a setback for future female candidates if Palin used an inability to balance these commitments as an excuse for quitting the governorship.)

Thus, my initial take was probably flawed because I started off assuming that the Governor had some plan. Most of my analysis concerned her resignation’s consequences on an eventual presidential bid but I am now willing to believe that no such bid is in the works. In fact, I don’t think anything is in the works. Palin decided that she was fed up with the governorship, posited that she’ll have an easier time doing the things she loves away from Juneau and she walked away.

As such, it is useless to try and read the Palin tea leaves: It’s unlikely the Governor has made any final decision about anything - let alone about 2012. Andrea Mitchell has been reporting that Palin is through with politics and that “she has told some of her biggest backers in the national Republican party that they are free to chose other candidates for 2012;” other journalists are not drawing similar conclusions. In short, I find it just as likely that we’ll soon see Palin in Iowa than that this press conference was her last major political appearance!

On the other hand, it’s difficult to imagine this woman, who looked so eager not only to gain further power but also to take on the liberal forces and the cultural elites that she thinks are ruining the country, suddenly sitting on the sidelines. She could find a compromise path between outright retirement and elected politics, one that would allow her to draw on the devotion of the conservative base without having to put up with “frivolous” ethical charges like those her rival dare bring up.

She has many other options in front of her. She could reinvent herself as a perpetual Republican star, a permanent ex-politician like Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich; in this regard, her status as a former vice-presidential nominee and her popularity among the party’s base would outweigh her meager record. She could also become a media professional - take a job at Fox News, follow Rush Limbaugh or Joe Scarborough’s footsteps - or on the commentary circuit, like Ann Coulter.

I expect it to take years for Palin to decide whether she will pursue a presidential bid, whether she wants to distance herself from the public stage and whether she wants to try out another path. If she chooses the former option, she seriously damaged her viability after yesterday’s development and I can’t imagine how she’ll overcome the stain of her resignation. But she keeps enough of a following that she could make other options work out far better.

Palin’s decision matters in Alaska, too

While most of my analysis has been devoted to the national consequences of Palin’s move, it obviously shakes up Alaska. Just a year ago, before she was tapped as McCain’s running mate, the Governor looked to be taking a firm hold of her state’s GOP against her inner-party rivals. Now, her departure will elevate LG Sean Parnell as Governor and make the 2010 cycle that much more interesting.

Two politician who’s likely delighted by Palin’s decision are Parnell and Rep. Don Young, the ethically embattled congressman who barely survived a primary challenge by Parnell last year; a rematch might have been in the work in 2010, but Young can now breath easier since Parnell will run for re-election next year. As for Parnell, he’ll obviously have an easier time running for Governor: Had Palin retired, this staunch conservative would have faced a potentially tricky open gubernatorial race but he will now have the upper-hand in what should still be a contested primary.

As for Democrats, they will no doubt have a harder time contesting the seat than if it had been an open race, but it’s not like they’re giving up that much: state Sen Hollis French, former Commissioner of Administration Bob Poe and Ethan Berkowitz could all make credible candidates, but the past three cycles (Murkowski against Knowles, Palin versus Knowles, Stevens versus Begich, Young versus Berkowitz) demonstrated that Alaska is one of the country’s most reliably Republican states.


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In shocking move, Palin announces resignation

In a shocking move that defies all expectations, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin announced she would resign by the end of the month in a press conference held this afternoon at her private Alaska home.

Many expected Palin simply to announce that she would not seek her second term, which would have been easy enough to explain given her presidential ambitions. It’s tough to run a presidential campaign while serving as Governor, especially when we’re talking about Alaska’s chief executive. Add to that the stain of the mounting ethical complaints she’s facing and the fact that she’d only be following Romney and Pawlenty’s footsteps, and it made sense for Palin to retire.

But to outright resign, and to do so having barely passed the halfway point of her first term?

If she runs for president, how will she possibly be able to justify her choice not to finish her first term? How can she get Americans vote for a quitter who got tired of her responsibilities after only 30 months? It would be political suicide for her to admit that she did it to prepare a presidential run (giving up an elected office for contest that is three and a half years away signals a level of ambition and irresponsibility voters are bound to reject) but what other explanations can she provide?

How will she argue that she has the requisite experience when voters found her lacking in 2008? Last fall, she introduced herself to America as a small town mayor and a two year Governor.It is insane to think that Palin could present herself in 2012 having added nothing other to her resume than eight more months as Alaska’s chief executive. I simply do not see how Palin can overcome this.

What is most extraordinary is that Palin seems determined to inhabit her own caricature. She has often been criticized for lacking seriousness, for her low interest in substantive issues and for her inability to work on the unglamorous nitty-gritty. So what does Palin do? Instead of proving her critics wrong by spending the next eighteen months concentrating on state politics, beefing up her policy knowledge and proving that she is interested enough in the duties of governing not to be distracted by the next shiny thing, she simply quits.

Her failure to address any of the traits that have damaged her credibility extends well beyond today’s shocker. Just two days ago, the state’s public health director charged that Palin had forced her out because of their difference on social issues - an accusation that fits with other stories surrounding Palin’s tendency to abusively fire state employees like the Wasilla police chief or that infamous state trooper.

All of this is occurring at a time Palin is particularly vulnerable. This week, two must-read stories gained a lot of attention in the political world. The first is a nearly 10,000-word Vanity Fair portrait in which Todd Purdum revisits the 2008 campaign and reports from Alaska to portray her as “erratic,” supremely ambitious, vindictive, engaging in cronyism, willing to bend the truth and exhibiting “extravagant self-regard;” most anecdotes that have come to be known about the Governor are in the piece, as well as new light shed by Purdum.

This piece was quickly followed by a CBS News story that published email exchanges between Steve Schmidt and Palin. In an effort to get the campaign to issue a statement clarifying her husband’s membership in the Alaska Independence Party, Palin conveyed false information to her own campaign. Her attempt to “bend the facts ever so slightly to fit neatly into her version of events,” as CBS artfully characterizes, was met with quite a brutal rebuttal from Schmidt.

Given the negative coverage she has recently received, the mounting ethical inquiries and perhaps a desire to concentrate on family, is it possible that that today’s announcement is meant to signal that she’s giving up on politics (as Red State laments)? I doubt that to be the case, but it’s at least plausible - not that it would make her decision any less irresponsible. We shall soon get an answer, based on whether Palin continues to attend political events and position herself as a leader of the national Republican Party, as William Kristol, ever the fan, hopes she will.

Another possibility is that she is trying to pull a McGreevey and beat revelations about a scandal that’s about to burst; but the fact that she was accompanied by officials like Lieut. Gov. Sean Parnell suggests a level of preparation and no rush to beat a breaking scandal. Would Parnell have agreed to appear at her conference if there was more to this story?

And so we’re left with the 2012 explanation - in preparation for a run against Obama, Palin decided that resigning made more sense than simply waiting for the end of her term in January 2011 - but the rationale behind such thinking completely escapes me.


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House roundup: DCCC launches new radio ads, recruitment buzz picks-up in LA and FL

A new round of DCCC targets

This week, the DCCC launched radio ads against six Republican incumbents, attacking them for opposing the stimulus. As I explained in May when the NRCC ran ads against entrenched Blue Dogs, it makes more sense for a national committee to spend its money this early trying to soften incumbents who are not obvious targets - which is what Democrats are now doing.

3 of the 6 are representatives no one doubts would be endangered if they faced a strong recruit - but Democrats are having trouble landing a candidate. In AK-AL, Alaska Democrats don’t have enough of a bench to guarantee another challenger to Rep. Don Young. MI-11 is a blue-trending district but Democrats are having clear difficulties finding someone willing to challenge Rep. Thad McCotter. The same goes in Charlie Dent’s PA-15. Why run ads in these districts if there are no candidates yet? The DCCC might be wanting to reassure potential challengers that they can count on the backing of the national party.

A fourth target is Rep. Brian Bilbray, against whom Democrats already have two candidates, but CA-50 remains a difficult district for them so it makes sense for them to try and go after Bilbray early. The fifth target is Rep. Peter King in NY-03, which belongs to yet another category: It is relatively doubtful that the district will be that contested if King runs for re-election, but the DCCC might be showing their determination to challenge him in order to get him to vacate his seat. (Of course, that would please House Democrats but it would be bad news for the DSCC, as it would probably mean that King is running for Senate.)

Targeting Florida

The sixth district targeted in this wave of ads is FL-16, which means that the DCCC looks more serious about the possibility of challenging Rep. Tom Rooney than I expected. Not only is FL-16 a red-leaning district John McCain won by 5%, but Rooney was considered a top-tier GOP recruit last year even before Rep. Tim Mahoney’s campaign exploded under the weight of harassment scandals. Yet, under the laudable belief that testing a freshman can always yields surprises, the DCCC looks set to make a push for the seat.

On the other hand, the DCCC just lost one of the candidates it was courting for this race. Via Swing State Project, state Senator Dave Aronberg just announced that he would run for Attorney General - a seat that is open because of Bill McCollum’s gubernatorial run. This might be good news for those looking to bolster Democratic control in Tallahassee but not those who are hoping to get Rooney ousted. Another potential challenger could be St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Craft.

Elsewhere in Florida, there is some southern Florida buzz in FL-25, held by Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart. In 2008, Democrats ultimately proved unsuccessful in dislodging any of Miami’s Republican incumbents. Might a solution be recruiting the Miami Mayor himself, Manny Diaz? In office since 2001, Mayor Diaz is term-limited out of a job this fall and The City Debate reports that he is considering a congressional run. One problem: Diaz is currently an independent. Though he is a former Democrat who attended this year’s Jefferson, that could cause some problems if he faces a primary. 2008 nominee and Dade County Democratic Chairman Joe Garcia is said to be mulling a rematch.

LA-03: A challenger to Melancon?

Earlier in this post, I noted that the DCCC’s attempt to scare Rep. King out of a re-election race could end up damaging the DSCC. The same situation is occurring in Louisiana - on the Republican side. Ever since he was elected in 2004, Democrat Charlie Melancon has not faced a competitive race and the NRCC is looking to change that by recruiting state Rep. Nickie Monica. She He would be a strong contender by the very fact that this is a staunchly conservative district (McCain received 62%).

But this news could have repercussions on the Senate race as well: The DSCC is trying to convince Melancon to challenge Senator David Vitter. If Melancon’s re-election prospects look strong, it makes him less likely to run for Senate since he would be giving up a safe position for a difficult statewide run; if a credible challenger suddenly emerges, however, Melancon would have to choose between two competitive races - making him more likely to go after Vitter.

No open seat in MD-06

Back in February, the DCCC ran a radio ad against Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. That was viewed as a surprise since Bartlett, who has served in the House since 1992, is too entrenched to envision Democrats mounting any sort of challenge against him. The most likely explanation was that the DCCC wanted to scare Bartlett, who just turned 83, into retirement but even that wasn’t convincing: An open race here isn’t anything for the DCCC to pine after as MD-06 is staunchly conservative (Bush won by 25% and 31%, McCain by 18%). In any case, it looks like we won’t get to find out whether the DCCC had any trump card prepared if the seat opened up as Bartlett just announced that he would run for re-election.

Note that MD-06 is the state’s only seat (out of 8) held by a Republican. One reason for that is that, in the last round of redistricting, state Democrats packed as many Republican precincts as possible in the 1st and 6th districts - the only ones in which McCain cracked 40%, let alone won. If anything, the upcoming redistricting will make MD-06 even more conservative: Democrats somehow managed to pick-up MD-01 last fall so they might try to shore up their strength in that district - which could mean even more packing in the first district (if that’s possible)!


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In Anchorage, Democrats miss an opportunity

Last night, Republican Dan Sullivan beat Democrat Eric Croft in the runoff of Anchorage’s mayoral election. In what was generally viewed as a toss-up, Sullivan won a decisive victory: 57% to 43%.

I hear you: This mayoral election might seem too small to matter in the scheme of federal politics, but make no mistake about it: the stakes went well beyond Anchorage. National Democrats were very interested in seeing Croft keep the mayorship in Democratic hands to be in a position to contest other offices down the line.

Not only does the GOP dominate Alaskan politics, but Democrats have a very thin bench of politicians who can run statewide races. This has been obvious over the past few cycles, and it is now having preventing Democrats from harboring hope of challenging Senator Lisa Murkowski, Governor Sarah Palin and even Rep. Don Young in 2010.

But there is one position state Democrats have been able to use to position themselves for higher office: Tony Knowles and Mark Begich, the only two Democrats who have been successful in recent statewide elections, served as Mayor of Anchorage. (Knowles did so in the 1980s, and he went on to win two terms as Governor before losing to Murkowski in 2004 and Palin in 2006. As for Begich, he defeated Senator Ted Stevens last fall after holding the mayorship for six years.)

Anchorage represents 40% of the state’s population, so it is not surprising to see politicians use it as a launching pad. But the point is that this has been the only effective launching pad for Democrats in recent decades.

As such, this runoff election was the Democrats’ big hope for getting a politician in place to who could be competitive in statewide races in upcoming years - perhaps not by 2010, but at least for the 2014 gubernatorial contest or the 2012/2014 House races. With Tony Knowles unlikely to attempt yet another political comeback, Democratic prospects were pinned on Eric Croft.

The situation is in some ways comparable to that of South Dakota: For Democrats to have any hope of keeping Tim Johnson’s seat when he retires, they need to hold on to the state’s at-large House seat for the representative to run for Senate. Tom Dashle and Tim Johnson were both elected to the Senate from the lower chamber, and it is difficult to see how a Democrat could take another path to the Senate.

(In both cases, the stakes are far lower for Republicans: Alaska and South Dakota are Republican-enough states that GOP candidates do not need to have built extensive connections with much of the state’s population to have any chance of scoring a statewide majority.)

On the other hand, the need for Democrats to have an electable candidate in place is far less urgent in Alaska than in South Dakota. The most important task for a party is to defend to the positions it currently holds. While Johnson’s South Dakota seat is likely to be open in 2014, Begich just entered the Senate, he is only 47 and Alaska politicians tend to serve for a very long time. Croft would have been a great hope for Democrats to reclaim the governor’s mansion or go after Murkowski, but his loss is less devastating for the party than would be Herseth Sandlin’s.


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Alaska landscape getting increasingly tricky for Palin

Sarah Palin recently made it clear that she had no intention to run for Senate in 2010, but she should start thinking of an alternative to serving another term as Alaska Governor if she is serious about a future presidential run.

Like all Governors, Palin risks seeing her approval rating plunge as the economic crisis worsens, but her problems reach far deeper than those of her colleagues. She has antagonized her state legislature to such an extent that she is likely to spend much of the next two years battling local lawmakers. And if she runs for re-election in 2010, she could be embroiled in a high-profile trench warfare with her legislature all the way until 2012.

Palin’s showdown with her legislature is sure to be particularly chaotic because she is battling her own party. (The state House is controlled by the GOP, and the state Senate is in the hands of an odd coalition of Democratic and Republican lawmakers since 2006.)

We learned that Palin had a rocky relationship with Alaska Republicans as soon as she was tapped to be John McCain’s running-mate. Within hours came a scathing assessment from then-state Senate President Lyda Green, a Republican. ”She’s not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president?” said Green. “Look at what she’s done to this state. What would she do to the nation?” Since then, Palin antagonized most state legislators when she announced her decision to refuse a third of the stimulus money - much of it education funds.

Now comes the news that both chambers of the legislature have rejected Palin’s nominee for Attorney General - a move The Anchorage Daily News describes as “a historic vote” and “the first time in state history a head of a state agency has failed to be confirmed by the Legislature.” Of 32 Republican legislators, 9 voted with Democrats reject Wayne Anthony Ross’s nomination:

Even Ross’ opponents in the Legislature had said just a few days ago that he had enough support to be confirmed despite widespread opposition from Alaska Native groups, his calling gays “degenerates” in the 1990s, and allegations that he made offensive comments about women. But a tipping point appeared to come this week when Ross gave what lawmakers called bad and politicized legal advice to Palin about a fight she’s having with lawmakers over a state Senate appointment.

The “fight” that paragraph refers to is indeed quite comically chaotic. Last month, state Senator Kim Elton was appointed to a post in the Obama Administration. According to state law, the Governor gets to fill the vacancy - but the pick has to be of the same party as the departing member. Predictably, Palin is doing her best to get around the requirement. She first appointed Tim Grussendorf, who had just registered as a Democrat; the Senate’s Democratic caucus voted to reject Palin’s appointment. The Governor then appointed Joe Nelson, an official at the University of Alaska Southeast; Democrats responded that Nelson was not active in party politics and rejected his appointment.

Act 3: Palin sent the state Senate a list of 3 names - Grussendorf, Nelson and Alan Wilson, who only became a Democrat on March 4th. That set up a bizarre showdown (emphasis mine):

State Senate Democrats are refusing to vote on the three names that Gov. Sarah Palin forwarded as appointees for the open Senate seat. They obtained a legal opinion this morning saying it is illegal for Palin to submit more than one name. “There is nothing for us to vote on, there is no appointment,” said Senate Judiciary Chairman Hollis French, an Anchorage Democrat. “The governor has taken an unusual course which is outside the law and leaves us no choice but to ignore what she‘s done.”

I caught up with the governor’s attorney general appointee, Wayne Anthony Ross, in the Capitol… “It seems to me the most important thing that can be done by the Senate is not argue with legal or illegal but to appoint somebody to represent Juneau,” said Ross.

I’m going to ignore the fact that Ross’s defense of Palin’s list is utterly nonsensical and point out that Alaska lawmakers are determined to make life difficult for Palin - and to turn her into a laughingstock in the process.

While this situation might help her portray herself as a “maverick” looking to shake up the state’s power interests, a prolonged battle would be sure to generate dozens of negative stories that Palin’s Republican rivals (not to mention Democrats) will gleefully file away for future use. It’s never good to have your state looking ungovernable and to have your leadership constantly questioned - and remember that Palin’s executive experience was one of her main arguments on the campaign trail last fall.

Most importantly, Palin’s Alaska-based showdown would first and foremost distract her from the national stage - preventing her from helping other Republicans in the run-up to the midterm and taking her attention away from the presidential trail in 2011. After all, it is not as easy to travel from Juneau to Des Moines as it is to jump from Massachusetts to New Hampshire!

With the entire country’s eyes scrutinizing her every move, it will be very difficult for Palin to escape criticism that she is taking gubernatorial decisions with an eye to the national landscape and her relationship with the state legislature is sure to deteriorate every time she travels to the lower 48. From The Anchorage Daily News’s article on Ross’s rejection:

Sitka Republican Sen. Bert Stedman, who voted against Ross, said Palin should have stayed in town to help round up votes for her attorney general nominee. The Republican governor was in Indiana on Thursday to speak at a Right to Life event.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney - freed from his gubernatorial duties but still very much on the public eye - is attracting nothing but applause for devoting most of his time to fundraising and to courting Republican officials across the country.

Update: More evidence from Mike Hawker, the Republican co-chair of the Finance Committee: “I’ve had a lot of friction with the governor this year on her lack of connection, frankly the appearance that she’s more concerned about her national ambitions than what’s going on in the state.”


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Palin will not run for Senate

Sarah Palin had denied harboring any Senate plans before, but this time we have to take her seriously: The not-so-long-ago-indispensable Anchorage Daily News reports that the Alaska Governor will host a fundraiser for Senator Lisa Murkowski. “The governor has no intention of running for the senator’s seat in 2010,” added a Palin spokeswoman. “[She] thinks the senator is doing a great job and that’s why she’s looking forward to hosting a fundraiser for her.”

Alaska’s 2010 field

To those who were hoping that the 2010 cycle would bring a climactic finale to the internal feud of the Alaska Republican Party, this development is surely disappointing. After the Palin-Frank Murkowski showdown of 2006, after the Parnell-Young and Palin-GOP legislators battles of 2008 (not to mention the Stevens saga), how fun would it have been to follow Palin and Parnell’s assault on Lisa Murkowski and Don Young? Alaska would become ground zero in the battle for the soul of the Republican Party - all of it against the backdrop of the 2012 presidential campaign.

Those who are hoping for some Alaska action should not despair, as Young suggested last week that former Senator Ted Stevens should challenge Palin in the gubernatorial primary now that he has been cleared of his felony convictions. Yet, and while Stevens has shown enough political resilience to perhaps be tempted by such a move, that remains a very far-fetched scenario - and Young admitted as much.

With Palin’s threat out of the way, Lisa Murkowski now looks like one of the safest incumbents in the country: There are no other Republicans who might challenge her, and she certainly has nothing to worry about with Ted Stevens, a political ally whom she defended over the past few months, urging President Bush to grant him a pardon. (Pardon my EFCA obsession, but she is currently the only GOP Senator to have explicitly opened the door to supporting a watered-down version of the bill; might this help her get there?)

As for the general election, If former Governor Tony Knowles failed to unseat Murkowski in 2004, if Ethan Berkowitz manged to lose to Young in 2008 and if Mark Begich only beat a convicted felon by 4,000 votes, how is a Democrat supposed to beat Murkowski in 2010? For those looking to keep an eye on possible Murkowski opponents, Berkowitz and state Senator Hollis French are mentioned as possible candidates.

Palin’s plans

That Palin had to announce a fundraiser for people to take her Senate denials seriously speaks to how much all of the Governor’s moves are interpreted through the 2012 prism. Indeed, it would have made sense for Palin to run for Senate: In the primary, she would have positioned herself as a conservative crusader; she could have endeared herself more to the Republican base and used the race as a rehearsal for the presidential primaries.

Had she won, Palin would have acquired a national platform with which to talk about federal issues and from which to take a leading role in opposing Barack Obama. This is the same exact reason Charlie Crist might be interested in leaving Florida’s Governor’s Mansion to run for Senate. Yet, Crist would be the overwhelming favorite to win the open Senate seat; Palin would need to defeat an incumbent in a primary. Her camp understandably decided that the risk was too great for Palin to lose everything; had Murkowski prevailed, how would Palin have remained a credible presidential contender?

Palin’s next decision involves the gubernatorial race: Should she run for re-election, or should she retire? If she chooses the latter option, we will know for sure that she is planning a presidential run. Mitt Romney’s transparent moves in 2005-2006 helped his opponents stock up tons of oppo research in preparation for 2007-2008, but for Palin to be transparent might not make much of a difference since she is already treated her as a presidential contender.

For Palin to leave office would allow her to spend the final months of the 2010 cycle traveling around the country helping other Republican candidates (which is what Romney is expected to do); and she would then be free to travel around Iowa and New Hampshire in 2010 and 2011. If she runs for re-election, however, things might get tricky: Alaska is quite far from Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, making it difficult for the state’s Governor to do quick trips to those states and to combine campaign events with official duties.

Before she even thinks of 2010 and 2012, however, Palin better get her escalating war of words with Levi Johnston. I really could not care less what went on over the past year between the Johnstons and the Palins, but the story is getting so messy that is certainly has the power to hurt the Governor’s presidential aspirations - especially in a Republican primary. Whatever the truth, it makes no sense whatsover for Palin and her entourage to keep pushing back against Levi’s statements and risk making this into a bigger story.


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Who knew Alaskan politics could be this entertaining, continued

In an unexpected move, the Department of Justice decided this week to drop the charges against former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. This will effectively void Stevens’s conviction on seven charges related to lying about gifts on financial disclosure forms.

An internal review reportedly revealed that problems of prosecutorial misconduct looked to be even more wide-reaching than previously reported - and that’s saying a lot considering how much controversy the prosecutors created last fall: They repeatedly failed to provide the defense team all the evidence they were using, and they presented evidence in court that they knew was false. Now, The New York Times reports that those involved in the case could be facing ethics charges of their own.

In October, I wrote that the prosecution’s actions should make us uncomfortable with the prospect of a guilty verdict. Whatever you think of Stevens’s culpability, this is a good move by the Department of Justice. (If only they were as willing to crack down on prosecutorial misconduct in lower-profile cases.)

The DoJ’s decision does not clear Stevens of suspicion. Their move was not due to the merits of the case but to procedural issues. The charges that the Senator was facing are still as damning, and the defense he offered during his trial still has as many holes. It is thus somewhat jarring to see Republican Senators rush to embrace their former colleague.

What is understandable, however, is the GOP’s frustration at having lost a Senate seat over a conviction that would be overturned a few months later (by a Democratic Attorney General, no less). Those who followed the 2008 election will remember how closely we monitored this case, whose outcome looked likely to determine the fate of the Senate race opposing Stevens and Democrat Mark Begich. Summer polls had shown Begich with a wide lead, but the margin shrank as Election Day neared. The court’s late October decision looked like it would seal his fate, but even then the longtime Senator only lost by 4,000 votes - an extraordinary show of political muscle for a convicted felon.

“I always knew that there would be a day when the cloud that surrounded me would be removed. That day has finally come,” Stevens said this week. “It is unfortunate that an election was affected by proceedings now recognized as unfair.” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made a similar point. “It literally cost us a seat,” he said. And thus comes the GOP’s new cause: Putting pressure on Begich to resign and trigger a special election. Sarah Palin herself has called for Begich’s resignation.

Such an arrangement would make little sense since Begich has no responsibility whatsoever in what unfolded in that courtroom last fall. If Senators started resigning every time questions were raised about their election, we would have special elections every few months. What about the GOP’s 2002 victories? Republicans were greatly helped by Iraq’s intrusion in the national debate; should Republican Senators who won tight victories (Coleman, Sununu) have resigned once it became clear that talk of weapons of mass destruction and of ties between Al Qaeda and Iraq proved misleading? After all, Republicans were far more responsible in unfairly skewing elections in 2002 than Democrats were of messing with Alaska’s process last year.

Rather than create trouble for Democrats, Stevens’s rehabilitation will have consequences on the Alaska GOP’s internal feuds.

The most amusing scenario Republican Rep. Don Young, a Stevens ally who said that the former Senator should challenge Sarah Palin in the gubernatorial primary in 2010. What a race that would be! And what a way for the state GOP’s civil war to continue after heated episodes in 2006 and 2008!

On the other side are old-school Republicans like Stevens and Young who have build their careers on bringing back money from Washington and who employ slightly less conservative rhetoric; unfortunately for them, they have also been plagued by allegations of corruption and of ethical misconduct. Senator Lisa Murkowski belongs to this latter camp; in fact, she is moderate enough that she is now one of the few GOP Senators who could save EFCA.

Let’s recap some of the recent episodes of this battle. In 2006, Palin defeated Lisa Murkowski’s father Frank in the GOP’s gubernatorial primary. In 2008, Young and Parnell faced off in a bruising primary; Palin and the Club for Growth helped Parnell, but the incumbent narrowly survived. Last fall, some of Palin’s harshest critics were Republican lawmakers from Alaska. (”She’s not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president?” declared then-state Senate President Lyda Green. “Look at what she’s done to this state. What would she do to the nation?”) And more recently, Palin’s decision to refuse a third of the stimulus money antagonized many in the state legislature.

Next year, Palin could choose to challenge Murkowski in the senatorial primary; Parnell recently suggested that he might seek a rematch against Young; and at least one prominent state Republican is now on the record suggesting that Stevens should challenge Palin. All these races might very well fizzle, but for now Alaska remains a state to follow.


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Alaska and New Jersey: Recruitment season in gubernatorial races

Can Alaska Democrats hope to trip up Sarah Palin in 2010? At the very least, they now have a credible candidate for the gubernatorial race: Bob Poe, a former Alaska State Commissioner of Administration.

There is no question that Poe will face a very uphill race, and it is extremely difficult to even conceive of Palin losing in her re-election bid. Ted Stevens’s quasi-survival and Don Young’s victory this past November only increased Alaska’s profile as a staunchly red state, so how could Democrat even hope of forcing Palin to break a sweat?

On the other hand, the Democratic nominee in this race will undoubtedly become one of the better known challengers of the country because of Palin’s profile and her national ambitions. Democrats might rally to his side in the hope of derailing Palin, and the press is likely to cover this race more than it deserves - just as the 2006 New York Senate race got extensive coverage.

Finally, there is a clear benefit for Democrats to fielding a credible candidate, even if there is little to no chance that the incumbent loses. In 2010, Palin is likely to spend as much time as she can traveling across the country to rally the conservative base and raise money for fellow Republicans. Giving her no reason to spend any time in Alaska would free her up to build an extensive national network, just as Barack Obama did during the 2006 midterms.

On the other hand, for Palin to be forced to think about her re-election bid will take time away from those travels; that would hurt other Republican candidates and it will damage her own 2012 prospects.

Over the past decade, New Jersey Republicans have been as hapless as their New England counterparts. Voters detest Democratic politicians and Trenton’s fishy politics, but they hate the GOP even more - and that allows Democrats to survive September scares cycle after cycle. Republicans are hoping that Governor John Corzine’s re-election race in 2009 finally proves to be their breakthrough; and Corzine, after all, has attracted his own share of controversy over the years.

The GOP just managed to recruit a top-tier candidate, Chris Christie. The former U.S. Attorney attracted attention for prosecuting corruption cases in the state, and that is exactly why Republicans is excited by his candidacy. They hope Christie can come to represent the promise of a clean politics against Trenton’s Democratic establishment, allowing the GOP to improve its image and finally snatch away a statewide victory.

Before setting his sights on Corzine, Christie will first have to survive a contested primary. In the past, primary outcomes have hurt the GOP by eliminating the more electable candidate; but Christie should have enough establishment support to make his way to the general election and he could prove a tough opponent for Corzine. Much will depend on the national environment and whether Corzine has to carry on his shoulders the unpopularity of Washington Democrats on top of that of Trenton Democrats.



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  • Confusion in Connecticut (Updated)

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Results thread, part 2: Dems suffer staggering losses in House and legislatives races, limit damage in statewide races

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election Night results thread: Rep. Boucher’s fall first surprise of the night

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Election night cheat sheet

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • Final ratings: Democrats brace for historic losses

  • Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

    Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

    Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55
  • What to watch for down-ballot

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Strict Standards: mktime(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 41

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 50

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 52

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 54

Strict Standards: date(): It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EDT/-4.0/DST' instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/functions.php on line 55

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1002

Deprecated: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /homepages/33/d214989360/htdocs/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1003

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