CALIFORNIA: Marin Wants Casey Out of GOP Senate Scrum
Former U.S. Treasurer Rosario Marin (R) is attempting to coax one of her Republican Senate primary opponents out of the race.
In a memo to interested parties, Ken Khachigian, a senior Golden State GOP strategist working for Marin, lays out what he describes as the futility of former Los Altos Hills Mayor Toni Casey’s (R) candidacy.
What’s more, Khachigian argues, as a politically centrist woman like Marin who favors abortion rights, “Casey’s surface appeal only drains support away” from Marin in the four-way March 2 primary. Former California Secretary of State Bill Jones and former Assemblyman Howard Kaloogian are the conservatives in the race — and Jones is running with the support of many party regulars.
Khachigian reiterates Marin’s argument that she is the best equipped in the Republican field to defeat two-term Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) in November. Only Marin, he writes, can cut into Boxer’s support among women, abortion-rights supporters and Latinos.
“Ms. Casey’s best contribution to the political party she has embraced late in adulthood is to withdraw her candidacy and enthusiastically support Rosario Marin,” Khachigian says. He urges party leaders to also work to prevail upon Casey to drop out.
So far, there has been no response from the Casey camp.
— Josh Kurtz
GOP Hires Fla. Recount Lawyer on Redistricting
Republican state legislators have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to be the final arbiter of whether the Congressional redistricting plan they passed in 2003 can be used in this year’s elections.
According to Wednesday’s Rocky Mountain News, the Colorado GOP has hired Michael Carvin — one of the lead lawyers for George W. Bush during the contentious Florida recount of 2000 — to press its case. Republicans want the high court to grant a stay by mid-February to ensure that their map, rather than one dictated by a federal court, is used this November.
The Colorado Supreme Court rejected the GOP’s plan in December, arguing that it violated the principle of one round of Congressional redistricting every decade.
The Republican map creates five safe Republican districts and two safe Democratic districts. The map imposed by the state Supreme Court makes Rep. Bob Beauprez’s (R) Denver-area 7th district, and the 3rd district being vacated by Rep. Scott McInnis (R), fairly competitive.
It is not clear if the Supreme Court will act swiftly enough to change the map back in time for this year’s Congressional elections — or if it will hear the Republicans’ case at all. — J.K.
All Taxes, All the Time on Zupancic Web Site
Taxes continue to dominate the Republican primary in the 5th district race, with one candidate launching a Web site exclusively to address the issue.
Jim Zupancic, a Portland businessman who is taking on state Sen. Jackie Winters (R) in the primary, has been making Measure 30 the central issue of his campaign.
Oregon voters are set to vote on Measure 30, a nearly $1 billion tax increase passed last year by the Legislature to balance Oregon’s budget. Zupancic has been challenging Winters to debates to discuss her vote in favor of it.
The ballot measure to approve or reject the plan comes before voters on Feb. 3.
Zupancic introduced www.oregontax debate.com Tuesday.
“I encourage voters to go to the Web site and voice their opinion on this job-killing tax increase,” Zupancic said. “I also encourage voters to go to the site and e-mail Jackie Winters, asking her why she refuses to show up to debates scheduled to discuss Measure 30,” he said.
The primary winner will face four-term Rep. Darlene Hooley (D) in November.
— Nicole Duran
Iraqi-American Leader to Challenge Rep. Wolf
The chairman of the American Iraqi Chamber of Commerce has announced he will challenge entrenched Rep. Frank Wolf (R) in the 10th district.
“Today, many Americans feel disenfranchised and watch silently as this administration and its Republican allies in Congress gratify the rich on the backs of the poor and of ordinary Americans,” Sam Kubba (D) said upon entering the race this week. “Since 1980, the citizens of our district have not had a real choice. This year I pray they shall.”
Kubba faces an uphill battle in the suburban district, as Wolf was re-elected in 2002 with 72 percent of the vote.
Glenn Passes Barr Exam in Hard-Fought Primary
Former Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), an icon in conservative circles, on Wednesday endorsed Dylan Glenn, one of several Republicans competing to replace Rep. Mac Collins (R) in the 8th district.
Barr joined Glenn and former Rep. Bo Callaway (R-Ga.), who is chairman of Glenn’s campaign, at a news conference in front of the Georgia Capitol.
Glenn, a former White House official who until recently was deputy chief of staff to Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue (R), is competing in the July 20 primary with state Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R), a former House Minority Leader, and state Sen. Mike Crotts (R).
Collins is giving up the seat to run for Senate.
Hoeffel Looks to Crash GOP Leadership Confab
If you’re looking for Rep. Joe Hoeffel — the likely Democratic nominee for Senate — today, you’ll find him haunting Congressional Republicans, who are kicking off their three-day leadership conference in Philadelphia.
Hoeffel will join Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, Pennsylvania Democratic Party Chairman T.J. Rooney and Philadelphia Controller Jonathan Saidel at an event designed to highlight what they will describe as Republican policy failures.
Hoeffel will square off against the winner of the April GOP Senate primary between Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Pat Toomey.