Dixie House seats: Dems outraising GOP

Dixie House seats: Dems outraising GOP

By Hastings Wyman –   The 1st Quarter fundraising reports are now completed and these early indications of the two parties’ prospects in November 2020 indicate that vulnerable Democratic incumbents in the South are doing a better job of bringing in contributions than Republicans in the same position. There are 12 Southern Democratic incumbents, ten of whom are freshmen, who have been targeted for defeat by the National Republican Congressional Committee. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has not reported any 1st Quarter totals for US Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D) of Texas’ 7th District. The average ending cash-on-hand reported for the eleven other vulnerable Democrats is $525,000. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has not released its US House targets for next year, but there are nine Southern Republicans who were elected in 2018 with less than 55% of the vote, a traditional measure for vulnerability in the next election. One of these, US Rep. Rob Woodall (R) of Georgia’s 7th District, is not running for reelection next year. The average cash-on-hand for the remaining eight is $344,000. The difference gives the at-risk Democrats on average a $181,000 advantage in the financial horse race. As some wag once said, “Money isn’t everything, but it’s way ahead of whatever is in second place.” That’s not totally true in politics, but a candidate must have enough to get his or her message out, and the candidate with the most money certainly has an advantage. The reason for this discrepancy isn’t clear. Certainly President Trump’s campaign is hoovering up a lot of money, but his total is less than that of all of the...
Georgia Fundraising Releases Show Some Trends

Georgia Fundraising Releases Show Some Trends

We are still about a year away from primary voting season but, it being a presidential year, fundraising is well underway. That is going to be a difficult task for some candidates this time around. With about 80 or so Democratic candidates for president announced so far, okay maybe that number is more like 15 but it is still a lot, a lot of money is going to be directed toward the race for the White House. Besides the Democratic race, the Trump campaign is going to also raise a very large amount of money. In 2016, the Clinton and Trump campaigns combined raised somewhere close to $1.5 billion. That number is likely to be surpassed this time. Democrats, desperate to beat Trump, will pour in money, and Republicans, desperate to hold onto the White House, will also raise a massive amount of money. And all that doesn’t even include the numerous Senate campaigns – more than 30 – which will also be vacuuming up money. Twenty-two of the 34 seats up in 2020 are currently held by Republicans, plenty of opportunity for pick-ups by Democrats, but the reality of the political situation means some of these will not be considered competitive. And now this brings us to Georgia. It could depend on the ultimate candidate, but taking into account the showing of Stacey Abrams in the 2016 election, a loss within 3 points, Georgia will be considered a possible pickup. And now for the numbers. The man possibly facing a very motivated Democrat electorate looking to unseat him in the Senate, David Perdue, has a very large war...
Harris building support in South Carolina

Harris building support in South Carolina

By Christopher Cadelago (Politico) – Sen. Kamala Harris is making inroads with elected officials and leaders in South Carolina ahead of her fourth visit to the crucial early-voting state this week — snagging the much-sought endorsement of former state Rep. Bakari Sellers on Monday. Sellers, who is from Denmark, S.C., will campaign with Harris and formally announce his support for the California Democrat during a Saturday town hall at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg. Harris is returning to the state on Friday for a town hall at Winthrop University in Rock Hill. Read...
Who gives a hoot about who gets to scoot? Florida lawmakers do.

Who gives a hoot about who gets to scoot? Florida lawmakers do.

By Tampa Bay Times – With the industry described by one lobbyist as being in its “infancy,” the full House could take up controversial bill that would limit the ability of cities and counties to regulate scooter sharing services. The House State Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved a bill (HB 453), sponsored by Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, that would set up a statewide regulatory framework for the industry, which involves riders using apps to hop on motorized scooters that can be left in various areas. Read...
City of Atlanta launches task force to increase transparency

City of Atlanta launches task force to increase transparency

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ first year started out smoothly. She stayed away from the investigations swirling around her predecessor (and endorser) Kasim Reed’s administration, she hand picked her own well-regarded GM for Hartsfield-Jackson International airport, instituted a procurement reform process, and even created a new position in her cabinet titled a “transparency officer” that has the power to investigate Bottoms herself. But starting late in 2018 the wheels began to come off. First it came to light that shortly after Bottoms’ inauguration former City Councilman Kwanza Hall was hired as a ‘senior policy advisor,’ a cushy position making over $100,000 per year.  That move violated the city charter, which bans elected officials from holding “any compensated appointive office or employment with the city” for one year after leaving office.  Bottoms claimed ignorance. Then last month an investigation revealed that six of Bottoms’ former campaign aides had been improperly placed on city payroll, including Marva Lewis, who received a job as “deputy airport general manager” with an annual salary of $273,873 despite never having worked at any airport in her life.  The Atlanta City Council was alarmed enough to pass a resolution requesting an independent investigation – a request which Bottoms promptly vetoed. Now forced to answer questions about the ethics of her transition at town hall meetings, Bottoms and her team have created the Task Force for the Promotion of Public Trust, a group made up of a roster of highly regarded ethics and law experts who will hopefully keep an eye on goings on at City Hall and restore in it some of the trust the public seems to...
O’Rourke rails against ‘unprecedented concentration of wealth and power’ at kickoff rally

O’Rourke rails against ‘unprecedented concentration of wealth and power’ at kickoff rally

By David Siders (Politico) – EL PASO, Texas — Beto O’Rourke, christening his presidential campaign at a boisterous rally in his hometown on Saturday, cast himself as a crusader against moneyed interests that he said have corrupted America’s democracy and a president he accused of capitalizing on politics of “fear and division.” In what could amount to his maiden stump speech — delivered at the first large-scale, structured event of his nascent campaign — O’Rourke’s populist progressive framing evoked similar appeals from rivals Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.  Read...