2010 Election Hub

DNC Chair Tim Kaine Running for Senate in Virginia


Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine announced his run for U.S. Senate in a web video posted today.

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP..

Politico reports:

Though Kaine’s departure from the DNC for a Senate bid has been on the horizon for nearly two months, the search for his replacement is still up in the air. Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland are said to be in the running for the job, but the party might choose a less conventional candidate, sources told POLITICO.

Republicans have made clear that they intend to frame Kaine as an insider who for the last two years as DNC chair has been a dutiful lapdog to President Barack Obama.

DailyKos adds:

Polling has shown Kaine in a dead heat with ex-Sen. George Allen, the likely GOP nominee. Allen could potentially get derailed by teabaggers, but a recent PPP survey showed him performing strongly in a hypothetical Republican primary.

As for the Dem side, ex-Rep. Tom Perriello, generally seen as the main alternative to Kaine, previously said he wouldn't run if Kaine did, so count him out. But Rep. Bobby Scott said just the other day that he's still thinking about seeking the Dem nomination, and he intimated that Kaine's decision wouldn't affect his.

Watch Kaine's video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "DNC Chair Tim Kaine Running for Senate in Virginia" »

Watch: Christine O'Donnell Blames Criminal Probe on VP Joe Biden



Christine O'Donnell is the subject of a federal criminal probe into illegal use of campaign funds during her failed U.S. Senate run, the News Journal reports:

"The case, which has been assigned to two federal prosecutors and two FBI agents in Delaware, has not been sent to a grand jury...Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the national ethics group, previously called O'Donnell's use of more than $7 million in donated funds 'Magic Money,' and repeated a claim that she had misused campaign resources for personal expenses, including household rent. 'Delaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell spent the 2010 campaign responding to nearly endless questions about her integrity, including allegations she had treated her campaign account like her personal piggy bank,' CREW said in summarizing its questions about O'Donnell's record."

O'Donnell appeared on Good Morning America today, where she blamed Vice President Joe Biden for the probe, and also the Today show, where she placed the blame for the probe on establishment Republicans who are after her.

Watch MSNBC's report on the probe, and O'Donnell's interviews placing blame, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch: Christine O'Donnell Blames Criminal Probe on VP Joe Biden " »

Candidate Who Would be Nation's First Transgender Judge Holds Slight Edge in California

KolakowskiVictoria Kolakowski, who would become the nation's first transgender judge, holds a slight edge over her opponent John Creighton in an Alameda County Superior Court election, the SF Chronicle reports

"Kolakowski, an administrative law judge for the state Public Utilities Commission, led Creighton, a deputy district attorney, by 50.22 to 48.77 percent, or 3,300 votes out of 230,000 total votes cast, the county registrar's office reported. All precincts have reported, but provisional ballots and late-arriving mail ballots were still being tallied. The registrar's office had no estimate of the number of uncounted ballots or when they would be counted. The candidates are seeking a six-year term in the seat vacated by Judge Stephen Dombrink, who is retiring."

Kolakowski, who married her partner when it was legal in California in 2008, transitioned in 1991.

Tom Emmer to Request Recount in MN Gov Race; Dayton Has Edge


Democrat Mark Dayton is holding off for now on declaring victory in the Minnesota governor race against anti-gay Republican Tom Emmer, who, as you know, made headlines earlier this year as a recipient of funds from MN Forward, a conservative PAC partly funded by Target and Best Buy corporations.

Emmer Dayton has the edge, but most everyone is preparing for a recount.

The Star-Tribune reports:

"DFLer Mark Dayton unofficially leads Republican Tom Emmer by 8,856 votes -- a margin so slight that it could trigger a hand-ballot recount for the second election cycle in a row. Officials began the tedious, nerve-wracking task of locking up ballots, which both parties may guard around the clock. The day's events placed the state, yet again, in political suspended animation, awaiting the prospect of another recount brawl that could take months to resolve and get tangled in the courts...Dayton expressed cool confidence about the complex process that will decide his political fate. "It's about something far more priceless. It's about the integrity of an election in a democracy," Dayton told a packed Capitol news conference. Dayton and Emmer kept low profiles Wednesday after the roller-coaster ride of an election night drama that started with jubilation in the Dayton camp as he jumped out to an early lead before Emmer clawed his way back into contention."

But this is the REAL bad news — it could give them time to push through a gay marriage ban:

A potential recount in Minnesota's race for governor might eventually crown Democrat Mark Dayton the winner but drag on so long that the Legislature convenes in January with retiring GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty staying in office.

Democrats fear that Republicans newly in charge of both chambers will combine with Pawlenty to push through massive spending cuts and pursue long-held goals on things like banning gay marriage, enacting photo ID for voters and expanded gambling.

It's a scenario that could also benefit Pawlenty, who had planned to spend January rolling out his memoir and deciding whether to run for president.

Election 2010: What Would Byron White Think?


 Ari Ezra Waldman is a 2002 graduate of Harvard College and a 2005 graduate of Harvard Law School. After practicing in New York for five years and clerking at a federal appellate court in Washington, D.C., Ari is now on the faculty at California Western School of Law in San Diego, California. His areas of expertise are criminal law, criminal procedure, LGBT law and law and economics. Ari will be writing biweekly posts on law and various LGBT issues. 

 Follow Ari on Twitter at @ariezrawaldman.

Justice WhiteByron White -- Supreme Court Justice, Oxford scholar, Yale Law grad, Navy man, All-American halfback and the NFL's leading rusher in 1938 and 1940 -- has always been one of my favorite historical figures. He had the brains and athletic prowess of ten real men, or the intelligence and athleticism of twenty Ari's. His gridiron nickname was "Whizzer", he turned down being the NFL's highest paid player to study at Oxford, he was a Colorado man at a school full of legacies and Easterners. He's just fascinating. So, today, I found myself wondering: What would Justice White make of yesterday's election?

Progressive legal scholars have given Justice White mixed grades (though he has always been a paradigm of so-called judicial moderation, whatever that is) because his role in the rights revolution of the 60s and 70s was, well, mixed. President Kennedy appointed him in 1962 and he remained on the Court until 1993, when he was replaced by the inimitable Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In that time, he opposed abortion, but supported desegregation; he struck down sex discrimination but he declined to join liberal majorities in defendant rights cases and in cases like Miranda v. Arizona. He wrote the majority opinion in Bowers v. Hardwick, putting the gay rights movement in reverse. How could I like him?

Well, he's a fascinating historical figure -- a liberal of the 1940s who stood pat when liberalism passed him by; a truly well-rounded man who valued scholarship over athletics, but saw his physical health as part of who he was; a lowercase c "conservative" by the 70s and 80s who found Chief Justice Warren not his type -- "I wasn't really in his circle" -- and joked that Chief Justice Burger assigned him opinions just because Burger assumed White would write them better. He also replaced a guy -- Justice Whittaker -- who resigned from the Court after having a nervous breakdown caused by the intellectual rigors of being a judge.

I often wonder, what would Justice White think? So, today, while our much more capable political pundits talk politics, I will geek out and wonder what Justice White would think of yesterday's election. This little exercise will show that our allies in an election need not only be those that agree with us 100% and may be those we least expect. Justice White is a perfect example.

Continue reading "What Would Byron White Think?" AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Election 2010: What Would Byron White Think?" »

2010 Election Wrap: GOP Seizes Control of House, Dems Keep Senate


Wow, so quite a bloodbath last night. A red tide, shall we say.

It made new House Speaker John Boehner shed some tears (check, AFTER THE JUMP...)

Republicans picked up control of the House of Representatives, adding at least 60 seats as of this morning. They also picked up at least 6 seats in the Senate with three undecided, leaving the Democrats in control there.

Iowasupremecourt In other races, lots of disappointment. Some tough losses.

DADT champion Rep. Patrick Murphy lost his seat in Pennsylvania. Senator Russ Feingold lost his Wisconsin seat. Alan Grayson lost his seat.

In Iowa, in what may turn out to be the most damaging news to LGBTs of the night, the religious right-wing successfully engaged enough with voters to oust three pro-equality judges from the state's Supreme Court — Chief Justice Marsha Ternus and justices David Baker and Michael Streit, as well as the state's pro-equality Governor Chet Culver.

In Hawaii, Democrat Neil Abercrombie won election as Governor.

Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank managed to hold on to his seat against the GOP's Sean Bielat, putting GOProud's anti-Dem cash to waste.

Cicilline In LGBT news, the House now has four openly gay representatives, Frank, Tammy Baldwin, Jared Polis, who were all reelected, and now David Cicilline from Rhode Island, who won his bid last night.

In Kentucky, Teabagger Rand Paul won his senate election but the city of Lexington also elected an openly gay mayor, Jim Gray.

Martin O'Malley won reelection as Maryland's governor and Independent Lincoln Chafee was elected governor of Rhode Island. Marriage equality hopes have risen significantly for Rhode Island.

In Colorado, teabagger Ken "homosexuality is like alcoholism" Buck lost his Senate race to Democrat Michael Bennet.

In California's 45th, Mary Bono Mack defeated gay challenger Steve Pougnet.

A few bright spots in California:

Brown Jerry Brown beat Meg Whitman to be the state's next governor, and Barbara Boxer beat Carly Fiorina to retain her Senate seat.

In California's attorney general race, Democrat Kamala Harris was holding an extremely narrow lead over Republican Steve Cooley at midday Wednesday.

Some other good California news, from LGBT POV: "Most of the 'down-ticket' statewide races were also won by Democrats – at least as of 1:30am with 69% of the precincts reporting: San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom beat Abel Maldonado 49% to 40.6% after some back and forth; Debra Bowen handily won re-election as Secretary of State; John Chiang was re-elected as Controller; Bill Lockyer was re-elected as Treasurer; and in a particular triumph of talent over outside money, Assemblymember Dave Jones beat Mike Villines 49.5% to 38.8% for Insurance Commissioner after the insurance industry poured in millions to buy Villines the election. Tom Torlakson is the new Superintendent of Public Instruction...In other state races – the best news was the defeat of Protect Marriage attorney Andy Pugno by Richard Pan: with 100% of the precincts reporting for the Assembly District 5, Pan had 56,386 (49.1%) to Pugno’s 53,006 (46.1%). Also good news – openly gay Rich Gordon, Ricardo Lara and Toni Atkins joined Speaker John A. Perez, Mark Leno, Tom Ammiano, and Chris Keho in the California LGBT Caucus, the largest number of LGBTs in a state legislature in the nation."

Voters also rejected Proposition 19, the marijuana measure.

Cuomo In New York, Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer retained their Senate seats. Andrew Cuomo was elected Governor over teabagger Carl Paladino, who hoisted a baseball bat at his concession speech.

Control of the NY State Senate was unsettled late into the night. Pro-equality Democrat Brian Foley was trailing his GOP challenger Lee Zeldin in late hours, but Frank Padavan of Queens, a Fight Back NY target, looked to be on his way out. More on the NY State Senate race here.

Teabagger Marco Rubio sent Democrat Kendrick Meek and Independent and 'fabulous' candidate Charlie Crist packing. What's next for Crist is anyone's guess. Come out of the closet, maybe?

Reid Harry Reid, in one of the shockers of the night, pulled it out against Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle in Nevada.

In Alaska, Lisa Murkowski was ahead of Tea Party candidate Joe Miller in her write-in campaign early Wednesday.

David Vitter won reelection in Louisiana.

Teabagging anti-masturbation witch Christine O'Donnell went down early in Delaware, defeated by Chris Coons.

Deval Patrick was elected governor of Massachusetts.

Ike Skelton of Missouri was defeated by extreme homophobe Vicky Hartzler.

Governor John Lynch successfully overcame a campaign from NOM to retain his governorship in New Hampshire, however, the legislature may have been regained by the GOP.

Ricky Perry was reelected governor in Texas.

The Victory Fund highlights some additional races in which LGBT candidates were victorious:

–Nickie Antonio’s election to the Ohio House.  Antonio will be the first openly LGBT person to serve in the state legislature.

–Marcus Brandon’s election to the North Carolina House.  Brandon will be the state’s only openly gay state legislator and one of just five out African Americans to serve as state lawmakers.

–Victoria Kolakowski’s election as a Superior Court judge in Alameda County.  Kolakowski becomes the first openly transgender judge in America.

–Kevin Lembo’s election as Connecticut State Comptroller.  Lembo joins just a handful of openly LGBT candidates to have been elected to statewide positions.

–Laurie Jinkins’ election to the Washington State House.  Jinkins is Washington’s first openly lesbian state legislator, and could help her gay colleagues pass a marriage equality bill in the next legislative session.

Thanks to everyone who joined our live blog last night. Though the news was largely frightening, we had a good time.

Watch Boehner shed some tears because he won't have time to tan or golf during the week anymore, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "2010 Election Wrap: GOP Seizes Control of House, Dems Keep Senate" »


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