The Road To 60: Introducing Rick Noriega For Senate UPDATED

Our 5th out of our first 5 Road To 60 senate candidates is Rick Noriega who is running to oust Bush rubber stamp Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. Noriega, a member of the Texas House and a Lieutenant Colonel in the Texas Army National Guard who spent a year serving in Afghanistan, was drafted to run for the senate against Cornyn by the grassroots and netroots and is running a very strong campaign. Just look at the week Noriega had last week:

  • A new Texas Lyceum poll shows Noriega within 2 points of Cornyn.
  • Noriega won Barbara Boxer's PAC For A Change fundraising contest winning him a fat check for $2500 toward his campaign.
  • The Texas Medical Association announced it will rescind its endorsement of Cornyn in response to his vote to block a bill that would have stopped a cut to funding of doctors who tend to Medicare patients.
  • Noriega posted this eloquent piece over at HuffPo discussing the vast gap between his own service training soldiers for redeployment to the Middle East with Cornyn's lack of service in Washington, DC.
  • In response to this inspired piece of schlock produced to promote "Big" John Cornyn's re-election, the Noriega campaign released a hilariously mocking ad of their own:

  • Oh yeah, and of course, Noriega made MyDD's Road To 60 Act Blue page.

Goal Thermometer

The bluing of Texas is one of the more dramatic political stories of the past several years -- especially in the wake of Tom DeLay's redistricting and his goal of a permanent Republican majority -- and is one I look forward to celebrating at Netroots Nation later this month in Austin. Not only have we taken DeLay's seat in congress but at a more local level, after years of absolute Republican dominance, Democrats are within striking distance of taking the Texas House of Representatives, which is currently controlled by Republicans by a slight 79-70 margin. Taking back Lyndon Johnson's senate seat would be the culmination of all the progress we've made in the Lone Star State and is why we're proud to have Rick Noriega on our Road to 60 Act Blue page.

A Senate win in Texas would absolutely mean the Republican firewall has been breached, so please help Rick Noriega get us to 60 votes in the senate and send "Big" John Cornyn back to Texas where he belongs by contributing even $5, $10 or $20 over at our Road To 60 Act Blue page by midnight tonight.

Update [2008-6-30 15:23:7 by Todd Beeton]:Just 17 15 more contributors to get us to 60 donations toward 60 seats in the senate by midnight tonight. Help us reach our goal at our Road to 60 page. Thanks!

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GOOD Congressional challengers on FISA: The List

In the last couple days, there have been several posts across the blogosphere citing what various candidates running for Congress have said on FISA and retroactive immunity for the telecoms.  But so far, it's been all over the map.  I'll try to corral all their statements into this diary, so you can see who the "good guys" are.

First, let's start off with the current House and Senate members who voted against this bill.  They do deserve credit, as it's their jobs on the line.

Follow me below the fold to see the dozens of Democratic challengers who are standing up for the Constitution, and are against this FISA bill and retroactive immunity.

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Reviews are Not Kind to Sen. "Big John" Cornyn's Corny Ad

John Cornyn was right in saying that maybe he needed a new staff because his ridiculous convention video is turning out to be a real bomb of hilarity- and not in a good way.

Consider the following...

Evan Smith, Texas Monthly.

He Puts the "Corny" in Cornyn

If not for tort reform, John Cornyn could sue the makers of this video shown at the state Republican convention for -- what? Malpractice? Wrongful death of his image? The deliberate infliction of pain and suffering on the voters of Texas? Or maybe he could sue his own campaign staff. Because this is just cow-pie-awful.

Robert Garrett, Dallas Morning News

A Reeking Video

Words don't do justice to this campy, over-the-top, 2 1/2 minute video. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn's campaign cooked it up to introduce him to the Republican faithful at their state convention in Houston.

Could it possibly reek more of malt, hops -- even sour mash? Surely a good deal was drunk at the brainstorming session that produced it -- not least by Cornyn, described by a deep-voiced narrator as a manly man "who can shoot straight and talk straight and enjoy a good brew."

Cornyn media consultants at Strategic Perception in Los Angeles took images of him on horseback at the Houston rodeo parade and a similar event in Brownsville. Then, through the miracle of film editing, they created Senator Cowboy! You may have thought of Cornyn as a paper-pushing lawyer, judge, attorney general and now lawmaker. Behold the leather-skinned tamer of the wild frontier!

But wait, some 25 seconds into the video, what's that we see, in the close up of his hands holding the reins? Could those be ... paper cuts?

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TX-SEN: Wild Swing Back Towards Cornyn?

Ok, color me confused. A new poll from Rasmussen shows a drastically different race between Cornyn and Noreiga than the one polled just a month ago:

Conducted 6/2/08, 500 LVs, MoE +/- 4% (05/08 result)

Rick Noriega (D):  35 (43)
John Cornyn (R):  52 (47)

What happened? Rasmussen's tight figures from last month tracked close to the early May poll Research 2000 did for DKos, but this month's Rasmussen follows the end of May numbers from the Republican firm Baselice & Associates.

And a bit more from the new Rasmussen - this change seems odd:

Cornyn is supported by 86% of Republicans and has a two-to-one edge among unaffiliated voters. Last month, his lead among the unaffiliateds was just four percentage points. Noreiga attracts 72% of Democrats, down from 81% a month ago.

Texans, what do you know that I don't?

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BruinKid's Senate race rankings

So with less than half a year to go, it's time for another look at all the 2008 Senate races.  There are 35 seats up for election because of a scenario in Wyoming and Mississippi where both seats are up, due to the passing of Craig Thomas and the resignation of Trent Lott, respectively.  Now obviously, quite a few of the races are considered "safe" for the incumbent.  So I'll rank these in terms of tiers.  The top tier will be the races where the party holding the seat has a real shot of switching.  The second tier are races that could become top tier races, but are not at this point.  Tier III are ones where a major event would need to happen for the seat to come into play.  And the safe seats?  Well, Mike Gravel has a better shot at winning the presidency than those incumbents have of losing their races.

Follow me below the fold for all the races.  This is meant to be a primer for both newcomers and political junkies alike, so some of the information may seem repetitive for you junkies out there.  Also see my previous March diary to see what things have changed since my last update.

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