Connecticut, Minnesota and Colorado Results

Connecticut Primary Results
Dannel P. Malloy, the former mayor of Stamford, the state’s fourth-largest city, won the Democratic nomination for governor, defeating Ned Lamont, a multimillionaire businessman who gained national prominence four years ago for defeating Senator Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary only to lose in the general election. While Lamont ran in 2006 on an anti-war progressive platform, he tacked to the center in this campaign. With 90 percent of the votes counted, Mr. Malloy had 58 percent and Mr. Lamont 42 percent. Mr. Malloy now faces Thomas Foley, who served as an ambassador to Ireland during the Bush years. Foley defeated Lt. Gov. Michael C. Fedele for the Republican nomination.

In the race to replace the retiring Christopher Dodd, one of the lions of the Senate, the GOP primary winner was Linda McMahon, the former chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment, who spent $22 million of her own money to win the primary with 49 percent of the vote. Rob Simmons, a former Congressman who had dropped out of the race only to re-enter it last month, had 28 percent, and Peter Schiff, a financier, had 23 percent. McMahon now faces Richard Blumenthal, the state’s popular five-term attorney general whose luster has been tarnished when he was caught lying about serving in Vietnam. McMahon plans on spending $30 million in the general election.

Voter turnout was 20 percent. More on the races in Connecticut from the Hartford Courant.

Minnesota Primary Results
The main event in the land of ten thousand lakes was the Democratic-Farm Labor gubernatorial primary. The Associate Press has called the race for former US Senator Mark Dayton, an heir to the Dayton Department store fortune. After midnight, with 97 percent of the vote counted, the former US Senator led the Minnesota Speaker of the House Margaret Anderson Kelliher by about 4,500 votes -- enough that no recount would be needed. Matt Entenza, an Oxford-trained lawyer who served six years in the Minnesota House of Representatives, finished a distant third.

Should Mark Dayton indeed be confirmed as the winner, he will go on to face Republican nominee Tom Emmer and the Independence Party's Tom Horner. The GOP has controlled the Governor's Mansion in St. Paul for 24 years. More on the Governor's race from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

There were also competitive primaries for House seats. In the Minnesota Second Congressional District, Shelley Madore defeated Dan Powers and will now face the Republican incumbent John Kline. In the Minnesota Fourth, Fifth and Eight Congressional Districts, incumbent Congresswoman Betty McCollum, Congressman Keith Ellison and Congressman James Oberstar coasted to victory over their primary challengers. In the Minnesota Sixth Congressional District, Tarryl Clark won 69 percent of the vote to defeat Maureen Kennedy Reed and will now face Rep. Michelle Bachmann.

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US Mid-Term Election Campaign Reader

They're off and running! And so is our coverage of the 2010 Mid-Term Elections. Here are stories from around the country on races for Federal, state and local offices.

In Connecticut, Lamont Tacks to the Center
The New York Times reports on how Ned Lamont, the Connecticut businessman who won an insurgent campaign against Senator Joe Lieberman by running left with his anti-war stance, is tacking to the center in his bid to win the Democratic nomination for Governor in the Constitution state. The primary is Tuesday.

As Mr. Lamont gears up for the Democratic primary for governor on Tuesday , progressives are grumbling that he has talked too much about tax breaks and streamlining red tape, and not enough about issues dear to labor unions and government watchdogs.

Modeling himself after Lowell P. Weicker Jr., a former Republican who became an independent, Mr. Lamont has vowed to shake up Hartford, and even borrowed Mr. Weicker’s “Nobody’s Man But Yours” slogan from his successful 1990 race for governor.

And some bloggers who had thrown themselves behind Mr. Lamont’s Senate bid have been lukewarm or indifferent. When Mr. Lamont announced his candidacy in February, using the word “business” more than a dozen times in his speech, My Left Nutmeg, a liberal Web site, ran the headline: “Ned Lamont announces for Governor.”

“If Lamont’s supposed hard-core supporters cannot rouse themselves to cheer his announcement, complete with fawning video, how in the wide world of sports is he supposed to win this thing?” one blogger wrote.

The 2010 version of Ned Lamont offers yet another striking sign of how a rough national landscape for Democrats is influencing politics at the local level.

By repositioning himself as a business-friendly centrist, Mr. Lamont is betting that liberals will give him a pass, if begrudgingly, because Democrats are desperate to capture the State Capitol for the first time since 1986.

The President Heads to Texas
President Obama heads to Austin and Dallas on Monday where the main event is a Democratic National Committee luncheon expected to raise $750,000 to $1 million. Tickets start at $5,000 per couple. The Texas Democratic Party will receive $250,000 to help build the party in the Lone Star State. The Dallas Morning News has more on the President's visit to Texas.

The political realities for Texas Democrats are stark – in part because backlash against Obama and his policies has fueled Republican energy. Democrats had hoped for years that by 2010, demographic shifts would help them regain a statewide office or reclaim the state House, but both goals remain major challenges.

The lunch in Austin will be followed by a speech at the University of Texas. Afterwards, the President flies to Dallas where he will attend a fundraiser at the Highland Park home of attorney Russell Budd and his wife, Dorothy. The event is to raise money for the DSCC.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White has opted to steer clear of the President whose popularity in Texas leaves much to be desired. As of late July, Rasmussen finds that 63 percent of Texans disapprove of Obama's performance (with 56 percent "strongly" disapproving). The Austin American-Statesman looks at the calculated risk that Bill White is taking by staying away from Obama and finds there's really not much downside.

In Florida, Tea Party Movement Raising Millions for Conservatives
The Orlando Sentinel has a story on the financial rewards that the ultra-conservative Republican candidates are reaping from their involvement in the Tea Party Movement. Allen West has raised nearly $3.5 million for his rematch with Rep. Ron Klein in the Florida Twenty-second Congressional District. Marco Rubio has harnessed Tea Party support to help rack up $11.6 million of campaign funds in his bid to win the Senate seat.

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A GOP Shuffle in Connecticut

At the urging of the Connecticut GOP establishment, Republican State Sen. Sam Caligiuri has switched from running for a seat in the Senate to one in the House of Representatives. Mr. Caligiuri will enter a primary contest against fellow Republicans Justin Bernier and Mark Greenberg. Should he prevail, he will run against Democratic Representative Chris Murphy in the Connecticut Fifth Congressional District.

The story in The Register-Citizen that serves Litchfield County and northwestern Connecticut:

Calling himself not the most likely candidate to unseat U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, State Sen. Sam Caligiuri withdrew from that race Tuesday and entered the Fifth Congressional District race.

His move came about one week after Connecticut Republican Party chairman Chris Healy encouraged him to switch. In so doing, Caligiuri runs against fellow Republicans Justin Bernier and Mark Greenberg, and Democratic incumbent Chris Murphy.

State Sen. Andrew Roraback, R-30, endorsed Caligiuri, with whom he has worked for years. Calling Caligiuri a person of integrity, Roraback does not believe Caligiuri hurts himself by switching races.

"I think he is helped because of the experience he has in the race," Roraback said. "He has gotten a lot of experience."

"I respect Justin Bernier, all the hard work he has put into the race. Some of the things that most impress me about Sam Caligiuri have nothing to do with politics. He is a good father to his children, a good husband to his wife, and served as a president of the United Way in Waterbury... Sam Caligiuri is a personal friend."

"While his views are to the right of mine on many issues, I've come to respect his integrity, work ethic and intelligence."

Bernier will keep campaigning and focused on getting the endorsements of town Republican committees. Since he became a candidate in March, Bernier, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, reiterated his goal to attract support from as many people as possible. He was most recently endorsed last week by the Republican town committees in Sharon, Canaan, and Washington, Conn.

"I seek a support of the Republicans and the heart-and-soul of the party," Bernier said. "There is a groundswell of support right now in western Connecticut who want to see real change."

Caligiuri goes into the race for the 5th Congressional district with numerous political endorsements in addition to that of Roraback, including Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, State Sen. Kevin Witkos, State Rep. Craig Miner and former State Rep. Anne Ruwet.

Mark Greenberg, a Litchfield businessman and another Republican candidate in the Fifth Congressional District, suggested Caligiuri cared more about being elected to any office. Greenberg is the owner of several local businesses including Goshen Hardware, Hemlock Kennels, and The Market.

"Sam's decision really highlights the fact that he is a career politician who is primarily interested in holding office -- any office," Greenberg said in a statement. "It's not surprising that someone who is so embedded in our political machinery would withdraw from the senate race, only to immediately switch to another race."

Colleen Flanagan, Connecticut Democratic Party communications director, seized on Caligiuri's switching races, characterizing him as opportunistic.

"Languishing in last place in the U.S. Senate race, Sam Caligiuri is shopping around for a campaign to run like most people shop around for the best deal on a used car," Flanagan said in a statement. "In the last two weeks, he's talked about running for U.S. Senate, Congress, and Governor. It's clear Caligiuri is more interested in personal political advancement than solving the problems Connecticut residents are grappling with every day."

Caligiuri trailed in the polls, and in fundraising, among those bidding to unseat Senator Dodd. That contest remains a three person race between candidates who might best described as filthy rich, filthier rich and filthiest rich. Linda McMahon, the former World Wrestling Entertainment impresario and her husband, showman Vince McMahon, have at least $103.7 million in assets and received at least $8.97 million in salary and investment income over a roughly 22-month period ending Oct. 15. Meanwhile former ambassador Thomas Foley reported assets of at least $32.25 million, while former Rep. Rob Simmons reports a relatively 'paltry' $2.86 million in assets. More on the financial disclosures of the GOP candidates for the US Senate seat in Connecticut from the Connecticut Post.

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Connecticut's Twittering GOP

The social networking service Twitter has shut down 33 fake Twitter accounts created by the Connecticut Republican Party using the names of Democratic state representatives to send out posts under the Democrats' names. Informed of the decision, state Republican Chairman Chris Healy complained that the Democrats were suppressing free speech.

"That's unfortunate," said state Republican Chairman Chris Healy. "I'm not quite sure what the issue is, other than that the Democrats were successful in stopping free speech."

It's impersonation but apparently Republicans believe they have a right to impersonate their opponents. More from the Hartford Advocate:

Healy's party may have suffered a setback with the loss of its Twitter campaign, but Republicans are still operating the 33 Web sites they created using the names of those same Democratic lawmakers. As far as anyone knows, this is the first time any state party has used such a tactic to mock its state opponents.

"It's our idea, actually," said Healy. He said Republicans want voters to understand how badly they're being screwed by the Democrats who approved billions in new taxes rather than cut spending.

Healy has no intention of shutting those sites down just because of Democratic protests.

"They didn't think of it first, so that's why they're whining," Healy said.

But it's not only Democrats who say the GOP's Internet policies are misleading.

According to Twitter, Inc., the fake posts violated the immensely popular social networking system's anti-impersonation policy.

In an e-mail reply to a Democratic legislative leader's complaint, a Twitter representative stated:

"A person may not impersonate others through the Twitter service in a manner that does or is intended to mislead, confuse or deceive others. ... Impersonation is against our terms unless it is a parody. The standard for defining parody is, 'Would a reasonable person be aware that it's a joke?' "

"Because this is not the case in your situation, we have removed the profile(s) from circulation."

"That's silly," Healy said of the decision. "That's not impersonation; that's satire."

Some of the targets of the fake Twitter messages disagree.

Matthew Lesser is a 26-year-old rookie Democratic lawmaker from Middletown who was one of the House legislators Twitterized by the GOP. He was also the first to ask Twitter to kill the GOP account using his name.

Lesser isn't surprised he was one of the Democrats chosen by the GOP.

"It's no secret I'm going to be a targeted Democrat next year," he said.

"Everybody knows Connecticut is a rough and tumble political world," Lesser said. "I support [Republicans'] free speech rights. ... The problem I have is when they cross the line between debate and impersonating opponents."

"It's hard enough to explain what we're doing here in Hartford," said Lesser. "It's even more difficult when you've got political hacks going out of their way to confuse people."

Democrats hold a veto-proof majority in the state House, outnumbering Republicans 114-37. The Democrats also have a 24-12 margin in the state Senate. Those numbers have been frustrating the hell out of GOP leaders, who have seen their share of General Assembly seats shrivel in successive legislative elections.

Their Twitter ploy may have misfired, but Connecticut Republicans aren't giving up on those 33 Web sites created in the names of the Democratic lawmakers. (The fake Twitter posts were linked back to those Web sites.)

All the sites use the same format. In the case of state House Speaker Chris Donovan, D-Meriden, the Republican-funded Web address is meetchrisdonovan.com. All the information on the site was produced by Republicans and is critical of Donovan. The only indication that it was paid for by the state GOP is in small print at the very bottom of the page.

Phillip Simon, director of the Graduate Interactive Communications program at Quinnipiac University, said his impression of the GOP-sponsored sites is that they are misleading.

"It is very deceptive," he said. "It doesn't say anywhere that it's being written by someone else."

Simon said all of the Republicans' anti-Democratic sites use "a lot of pre-made themes" and similar templates, which has dramatically cut down on labor costs for creating and updating the sites.

"Using these relatively low-cost tools to distribute information, whether in an appropriate or inappropriate manner, is going to happen more and more in politics," Simon said.

Rick Hancock is an assistant professor of online journalism and social media at the University of Connecticut who agrees with Simon.

"Personally, I don't think it's ethical," said Hancock, a veteran Connecticut TV journalist. "As a former political reporter, I think it crosses over into dirty politics."

Hancock said the Web sites, unlike those Twitter accounts, don't appear to violate any terms of services or legal restrictions.

Is there some sort of virus going around that affects the ability of Republicans to think clearly or is it some sort of congenital condition?

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