MA-Sen: Will the NRSC Pony Up for Scott Brown?

If the NRSC had its druthers, the establishment candidate for the Republicans in the upcoming special election for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts would be a former statewide elected official (former Gov. Mitt Romney, former Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, former Gov. Paul Cellucci), someone with previous prominent governmental experience (former Presidential Chief of Staff Andrew Card, former U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan), a prominent businessperson who could self-fund (former Carruth Capital president Christopher Egan), or a politically conservative celebrity (retired Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling).  It looks like none of these will be represented in the Republican establishment candidate.

It appears that the GOP establishment is coalescing around Republican state sen. Scott Brown.  Andrew Card even endorsed Brown as he announced that he would not be a candidate.  The only other Republicans to have expressed interest are Bob Burr, a Selectman from the town of Canton, Massachusetts' 85th most populous municipality, and Jack E. Robinson, who almost finished third (barely a percentage point ahead of the Libertarian candidate) in the 2000 U.S. Senate race.  So, barring a surprise candidacy, Scott Brown will be the Republican nominee.

Brown is one of only five Republican state senators in the forty-person body (to go along with only 19 Republicans in the 160-person body).  One could look at that and say that a Republican has no shot in overwhelmingly Democratic Massachusetts.  Another could look at that and say that Brown wins where other Republicans might not.

Which is the correct way to look at it?  Let's ask the National Republican Senatorial Committee.  Should anybody in Massachusetts think that Brown has even an outside chance to win?  Well, if the NRSC - the Republican campaign committee whose sole focus is electing Republicans to the U.S. Senate (i.e. they who should be Brown's biggest cheerleader) - publicly commits to ponying up serious cash for the special election (serious being at least $1 million), then Republicans and right-leaning independents can at least take heart that Washington D.C. is taking this race seriously.  However, if the NRSC will not publicly commit to spending a cool million or more in Massachusetts in support of Brown's candidacy, that means that they're writing it off.  If the Republican campaign committee whose sole focus is electing Republicans to the U.S. Senate writes Brown off, why shouldn't Massachusetts voters write Brown off?

So, ladies and gents of the NRSC, which is it?  A public commitment to spending serious dough in Massachusetts, or writing off the race altogether?  (At the very least, maybe the NRSC can hook Brown up with a better graphic designer.)

For daily news and analysis on the U.S. Senate races around the country, regularly read Senate Guru.

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Dems Win 4 Special Elections in 10 Days

In the past few days, it has been difficult to escape electoral predictors foreseeing terrible times for the Democratic Party. Apparently, voters haven't gotten the message.

DLCC wins four state legislative special elections in last 10 days.

Here at MyDD, desmoinesdem already detailed one of the Democrats' victories, so this news doesn't come as a total surprise. But I must admit that I was not aware that even in this purportedly dreadful political environment for the Democrats that the party went an impressive four-for-four -- in the span of just 10 days -- in special legislative elections. It just goes to underscore that the current political reality is one in which voters are down on the Democrats, but they are even more down on Republicans.

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CA-10: On Independence Day, Let's Celebrate Service

Happy Independence Day!

On the anniversary of the birth of our country, I wanted to take this moment to first thank all the men and women who proudly serve our country in the armed services. I also think it's important to acknowledge Americans who have found other ways to serve our country - the Teach for America and AmeriCorps volunteers who work in America's most desperate pockets to help create a more just and equitable society, the volunteers from community, religious, and non-profit organizations who selflessly devote time and money in their local communities, and the volunteers in the Peace Corps and NGOs who generate goodwill the world over while presenting America's best face to allies and adversaries alike.

Forty-three years ago, my wife Patti and I heeded President John F. Kennedy's call, left Berkeley, and embarked on a journey that would shape our outlook for the rest of our lives. We joined the Peace Corps and spent two years working on the eradication of small pox in rural southwest Ethiopia. We witnessed unimaginable suffering on an almost daily basis, but we understood that the work we were doing was not just vital to good people desperately in need of help but also served to demonstrate to the world abroad the goodness of America.

More over the flip...

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Garamendi Runs for Congress - But in the Wrong District

With his fourth run for Governor failing to get traction, Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi yesterday announced his plan to run for Congress in the East Bay's 10th District - in a special election to replace Ellen Tauscher.  On name recognition alone, Garamendi will be the front-runner in a crowded field - although State Senator Mark DeSaulnier has key endorsements that will make it competitive.  But while running for Congress is a smart move for Garamendi, it would be far better for Democrats - and progressive politics - for him to run in District 3 against Republican incumbent Dan Lungren.  Tauscher's seat is safe for Democrats regardless of who runs in the special election, while Garamendi is probably one of the few candidates who can win District 3.  He has deep roots in the 3rd District - which includes a large swath of the Sacramento suburbs, along with Garamendi's native Calaveras County.  It is traditionally a "red" district, but Barack Obama carried it last November - and Lungren came unexpectedly close to losing to an under-funded Democratic challenger.  At a time when Democratic activists are pushing the Party to take back"Red California," Garamendi's choice of districts could not be more disheartening and misguided.  Expect this to become an issue at this weekend's State Democratic Convention.

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Do Voters Matter to Progressives?

David Sirota would probably like to think his column, Measuring Electoral Success, adds to our understanding of how to advance the progressive agenda but it seems to serve basically as an apology for outside support of Tom Geoghegan's candidacy in the IL-05 special election.

Sirota writes:

There is a value in backing long shots, even if those long shots lose. In Geoghegan's case, many progressives supported someone who has been an important voice on so many issues, and who has had the courage to fight the good fight.

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