Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Organized labor begins $1 million ad campaign against Blanche Lincoln

1. The Service Employees International Union will launch a series of television and radio ads taking Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D) to task for her record on trade, the leading edge of a seven-figure expenditure from the union in advance of her May 18 primary showdown against Lt. Gov Bill Halter.

The SEIU television ad is a testimonial from Greg Knowles, an employee at Cooper Tires in Texarkana, who says that Lincoln has "a lot of nerve" for claiming in a television ad that she saved 1,700 jobs at the company.

"We saved our own jobs and we had to take big pay cuts to do it," said Knowles. We would not have to have done that if Miss Lincoln had not voted for all those unfair trade deals."

Knowles goes on to detail Lincoln's votes for "NAFTA, CAFTA and even a special trade deal with China".

The radio ads drive that same message -- Knowles is featured in one, the other features another Cooper Tire employee named Darrin Turner.

SEIU is one of several national groups -- is another -- that have targeted Lincoln for defeat next month.

A new Research 2000 poll for the liberal Daily Kos blog -- whose founder, Markos Moulitsas -- has endorsed Halter showed Lincoln with a 43 percent to 35 percent, a margin slimmed down far the double digit edge she held in past Kos surveys.

Lincoln trails all of the major Republican candidates in head to head general election. matchups.

2. In advance of this weekend's Minnesota Republican convention, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin threw her endorsement behind state Rep. Tom Emmer -- calling him a "patriotic, fiscally conservative hockey dad".

Palin announced the Emmer endorsement via Facebook -- her preferred medium to speak to her legions of conservative supporters.

The endorsement came less than 24 hours before tonight's endorsement fight between Emmer and fellow state Rep. Marty Seifert. Both men have said they will abide by the decision of the convention and not pursue a primary challenge.

(Democrats, on the other hand, will have a competitive Sept. 14 primary between state House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher who won last week's convention and self funders Matt Entenza and Mark Dayton.)

There's little question that voters most loyal to Palin -- the base of the Republican base -- are the same sort of people who attend events like the Minnesota nominating convention. It remains to be seen though whether or not Palin can tip the scales for Emmer who, of late, has been battling bad press coverage over several past DUI arrests.

An Emmer win would -- whether deserved or not -- affirm the power of Palin within the Republican party and increase her influence within the GOP in advance of 2010.

3. A new Granite State/WMUR poll shows former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (R) with a wide lead over Rep. Paul Hodes (D) in a hypothetical general election matchup, numbers that suggest the GOP might be better positioned than previously thought to hold the seat of retired Sen. Judd Gregg (R).

Ayotte, who has Gregg's endorsement and is the favorite of national GOPers, took 47 percent to 32 percent for Hodes in the survey, which was conducted earlier this month.

Wealthy businessman Bill Binnie (R) took 38 percent to 36 percent for Hodes while 1996 gubernatorial nominee Ovide Lamontagne (R) received 37 percent to 36 percent for Hodes.

Inexplicably, the Granite State poll did not do a Republican primary ballot test. The primary, which is set for Sept. 14, is generally seen as a two-person affair between Binnie and Ayotte.

The WMUR poll is the third straight poll to show Ayotte with a comfortable lead although the other two surveys -- Rasmussen and PPP -- are conducted via automated phone calls.

Republicans have long maintained that the idea that Ayotte is struggling, which has become accepted conventional wisdom within Washington, is simply wrong -- and these latest numbers suggest they might be right.

Still, Binnie's personal wealth -- he has donated $3 million of his own money to the campaign -- and the strong anti-establishment sentiment within the Republican party endanger Ayotte in the intraparty fight.

4. A new Quinnipiac poll in Ohio shows Democrats holding the narrowest of edges in the Senate and governors race this fall although the data also suggests that large numbers of voters remain undecided about where they will cast their vote.

On the Senate side, Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher (D), who faces a primary from Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, took 40 percent to 37 percent for former Rep. Rob Portman (R) in the survey. Gov. Ted Strickland (D) holds a 44 percent to 38 percent edge over former Rep. John Kasich (R).

(The April data is roughly the same as a late March Q poll where Fisher held a four point edge and Strickland was up on Kasich by five.)

While Democrats were buoyed by the poll, there are signs that the Buckeye State, which has been at the center of the fight for electoral vote majorities in each of the last three presidential elections, remains very much a toss up between the parties.

Fifty percent of Ohio voters said they disapproved of the job President Obama was doing while 45 percent approved; those numbers were actually slightly worse than how the president was rated in late March.

Asked whether they would like to see the next Senator from the state support or oppose Obama's policies, 45 percent chose the former option while 48 percent chose the latter. Among independents, 55 percent want the Senator to oppose Obama's policies while just 36 percent want he or she to support those policies.

In addition to the Senate and governors races, Ohio will play host to at least five competitive House races. And, both national parties will be tracking the results closely to see what they suggest for the coming 2012 presidential race.

5. After wading through the vegetables of the week, it's time for dessert or, as we call it, the "Live Fix" chat.

From 11 to noon today we will take your questions on Charlie Crist, the Arizona immigration law, the primaries to come on Tuesday in North Carolina, Ohio and Indiana and whatever else is on your mind.

You can submit questions in advance or just follow along in real time.

And, as an added bonus, we will be doing our first ever live video chat -- hello Max Headroom! -- at 2 pm today to talk about our latest Friday Senate line.

So, check in at 11. And stay signed on through 2. It's a day of Fix chats. What could be better?

By Chris Cillizza  |  April 30, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Morning Fix  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Charlie Crist to run for Senate as an independent
Next: Jeff Greene enters the Florida Senate race



Posted by: yourmomscalling | April 30, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

S&P downgraded Goldman Sachs to "sell".


Small potatoes. Let's see some executives in handcuffs. Then in prison.

Posted by: Noacoler | April 30, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

So now we know, if something bad happens, the fail safe system something bad better not happen.

Glad we got that straightened out.

"The spill is coming from the riser… A tree of valves and a blowout preventer sits at the top of the well casing on the seafloor. A riser (a pipe) connects the tree to the floating drilling rig, but when the rig blew up, the riser fell onto the sea floor. The bulk of the oil leaking is apparently coming out of the end of the riser, and the riser itself is snaking around on the floor of the Gulf.

The blowout preventer and valves on the tree on the seafloor are designed to fail closed; meaning that if a constant signal received from the rig is interrupted, they are designed to close immediately. The blowout preventer (BOP) has a knife edged “blade” designed to cut through any drill pipe in the tree, and then shut-off the flow through the tree. From the size of the spill, most engineers would guess that the BOP did actuate, but for some reason, didn’t shut off the flow..."

Posted by: shrink2 | April 30, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

"It will be very useful to know exactly what happened."

Yes, of course, and of course it should have never have happened. As I said, if you had to have a plan to mitigate an event like this, there should be no offshore drilling. So, we don't plan for it.

Yet now it has happened, twice in a few months, for two unrelated reasons, we believe. A temporary ban on drilling leases for 2012 is silly.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 30, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

shrink, this is the first Gulf oil platform catastrophe in 20 years.

It was in no way silly to think it could not have happened. The valving is excellent. Existing pumping stations will not have blowout events.

But this well blew its top before it was completed and cased. It must have blown so explosively that the blowout valve was destroyed - if it were operational it should have closed on the shut down of power.

It will be very useful to know exactly what happened. For example, if air injected down the tube and spark from the drilling set off a methane explosion it would explain the event in a way that might require banning further drilling in the Gulf - where there are many frozen methane bubbles on the sea floor. This is also true off Greenland, btw.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 30, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse


S&P downgraded Goldman Sachs to "sell".

The Cherry on top of Obama's "drilling ban" gesture, the expansion of drilling Obama announced last month was to begin in 2012, at the earliest, so the temporary moratorium on new offshore drilling leases will have no immediate effect on anything.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 30, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Offshore drilling is just as safe today as it ever was. Nothing has changed.

If we are going to accept the risk of these disasters, then keep drilling. If we are not, then cease operations on the thousands of rigs in our waters.

Or, if we believe that after we investigate and find the cause of this and it will never happen again, then keep drilling (since we will know what not to do next time), but stop operating rigs substantially similar to this one in the meantime.

Face it, a temporary ban on drilling is a political gesture. Sheesh, it is going to take three months just to drill a "relief well" to stop these leaks, allegedly.

Obama was playing with environmental fire and he got burned.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 30, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Because the stupid idea was to open new areas to drilling and then close them again a few weeks later because of an oil spill. What, did his people think oil spills were a thing of the past, could not happen on his watch, or only in lands far away?

Posted by: shrink2 | April 30, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"I am sure banning drilling new wells until it feels politically ok will distract attention "

How about it's just a good idea?

Posted by: drindl | April 30, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"Obama is sending government inspectors"

According to NOAA, there are about 4000 oil and gas rigs along the American coast of the Gulf.

I am sure banning drilling new wells until it feels politically ok will distract attention from the thousands of wells operated just like this one, once was.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 30, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Have no fear Obama is sending government inspectors to check out drill rigs. Having some experience with government inspectors. That will be as efecctive as putting Teats on a bull.

Posted by: cropsey71 | April 30, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Like I said, when a crash has a technical cause, we don't stop building airplanes, we ground the fleet and fix it. Why would we not stop pumping oil if there is no way to know whether these safety systems work, or are even installed?

I say no problem drilling, the problem is with operations. Wells can be drilled and capped safely until we are sure about the fixes that are created to make sure these "leaks" can not happen.

Of course I know we will keep pumping unsafely, I know we can't stop, just like we don't stop mining when we know the mines are unsafe. Fortunately, I guess, at least we don't have the same attitude about air travel (since we all do it).

Posted by: shrink2 | April 30, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

This is a nice change from the bushies -- holding criminals accountable:

" NPR News has learned that the Mine Safety and Health Administration is the target of a federal criminal investigation surrounding the explosion of the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia three weeks ago—a disaster that killed 29 miners. The probe also targets Massey Energy, the owner of the mine.

Sources familiar with the investigation say the FBI is looking into possible bribery of officials of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the federal agency that inspects and regulates mining. The sources say FBI agents are also exploring potential criminal negligence on the part of Massey Energy, the owner of the Upper Big Branch mine."

Posted by: drindl | April 30, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

'Should ban new offshore drilling?'

Perhaps we should think about it. This is a different situation than a mine or airline disaster. While there is tragic loss of life, as here, there is also damage that is possibly irrepairable and irreversible. Fisheries destroyed, species wiped out, tourism kaput. Whole industries destroyed, countless jobs lost.

And for all we know, this may have been caused by Halliburton's negligence, somethiing they are famous for.

Posted by: drindl | April 30, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Shrink, Obama didn't ban drilling until the end of time. He wants to investigate what went wrong with this pump before building new ones.

Posted by: DDAWD | April 30, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

So now we are going to see what 10 to 18 million gallons of oil will do to one of the more environmentally important and therefore also sensitive areas of the world.

All disasters are partisan, one side or the other caused all of the damage and suffering, obviously. So while the blame game completes its circles and as the witches are burned, there are some outstanding questions.

This just happened,

My question is, did people think that could never happen again, or never here?

In the Timor sea case, we understand that safety equipment (a cap) was removed for repairs and never reinstalled at the head of the well.

Sadly, that spill was far smaller (in flow volume) and much farther from the coast than this one.

Now we learn BP is trying to figure out why the fail-safe cap system that was supposed to keep this from happening did not work on their worse than worst case outcome.

So, with two fail-safe failures in a few months time, is there any reason to think these things will work? I guess I am asking, not whether we should ban new offshore drilling. Shouldn't we figure out whether the rigs that are pumping today are as safe as they have been promised to be?

I mean, we don't stop creating mines after a mine disaster. We find out how to make mines safer. We don't stop building airplanes when a technical fault causes a disaster, we ground the fleet until we are sure no more planes have that fault.

Maybe the company that built and operated this rig should cease operations until whatever caused this horror show in slow motion is known and fixed. But we can't do that (the steady, moderate price of oil is driving the recovery), so instead, we pretend to do something by banning drilling.


Posted by: shrink2 | April 30, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Where was BP/Halliburton's backup plan in case of accident?

Why, they didn't have one, did they?

Posted by: drindl | April 30, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Exactly, bsimon... this spill occurred while HALLIBURTON was capping the well. Anyone know that? HALLIBURTON.

"The catastrophic gusher of oil unleashed by the explosion of BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig last week is on track to quickly exceed the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill, an independent expert warns.

An explosive burst of oil destroyed the exploratory rig 41 miles off the Louisiana coast on the eve of Earth Day, killing 11 workers. After the shattered hulk of the rig sank to the ocean floor a mile down, the pipeline continues to spew oil that has now reached shore, with an end weeks or months away. John Amos, the president and founder of the nonprofit firm SkyTruth, “which specializes in gathering and analyzing satellite and aerial data to promote environmental conservation,” estimated from satellite photos that the calamity is increasing at a rate of 850,000 gallons (20,000 barrels) a day:

That’s right: more than 6 million gallons spilled into the Gulf of Mexico so far. This, and other radar images that SkyTruth is getting, confirm what we’ve seen on the NASA/MODIS images so far, and support our conservative calculations showing that in the first week of this spill at least 6 million gallons have entered the Gulf. That’s a spill rate of at least 850,000 gallons (20,000 barrels) per day, 20 times larger than the official Goast Guard estimate of 42,000 gallons per day.

By today, about 7 million gallons will have been spilled, taking the Deepwater Horizon disaster more than halfway to the 1989 wreck of the Exxon Valdez, which dumped 11 million gallons into Alaska’s Prince William Sound — one of the nation’s worst environmental disasters. This catastrophe — which occured as *Halliburton* was cementing the well — will exceed the scale of the Exxon Valdez within a week.

The sea of oil spewing from the mangled pipeline is already larger than 31 nations"

Posted by: drindl | April 30, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Here's the conservative line, once again, socializing risk, while privatizing profits:
"Is anyone surprised that the giant useless EPA has no plans, no resources, no idea about what to do about an oil spill?"

Bravo, Bsimon. Clear and brief.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | April 30, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

IT IS CLEAR that this is Obama's Katrina - over the past 10 days Obama has been more concerned with PARTISAN ATTACKS than on making sure the oil spill is dealt with properly.

Obama has been more concerned with twisting the position of the Republicans - and falsely characterizing the Republicans as wanting to keep the current state of deregulation on Wall Street.

Obama has been more concerned with PARTISAN VOTES IN THE SENATE.

Obama has been more concerned with a 1500 page bill - and not giving anyone a chance to negotiate a fair bill.

Over the past 10 days - Obama has been more concerned with a BLANTANTLY RACIST STATEMENT LAST WEEKEND -

Obama showed what he really thinks in the statement over the weekend - RACISM IS IN OBAMA'S HEART.

Over the past 10 days, Obama has ignored the oil spill - and only when the spill is threatening land - does Obama hold a news conference .... in Washington.



Posted by: 37thand0street | April 30, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

The free-market solution is really simple...the company that drilled the site is responsible for ALL costs associated with it, regardless of negligence as current law states.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 30, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

shrink, when a joke of a person partakes, you still get to count your predictions as a joke.

Posted by: DDAWD | April 30, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Heh, heh, my oil disaster blame game/spin predictions were supposed to be funny,
not true.

Posted by: shrink2 | April 30, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Here's the conservative line, once again, socializing risk, while privatizing profits:
"Is anyone surprised that the giant useless EPA has no plans, no resources, no idea about what to do about an oil spill?"

Hold BP or the industry responsible? Nah. Blame government. Drill here, drill now, with no government oversight, until something goes wrong - then stick the taxpayers with the cleanup. So long, suckers!

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 30, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

"Is anyone surprised that the giant useless EPA has no plans, no resources, no idea about what to do about an oil spill?"

After being targeted for budget cuts for 30 years by Conservatives, all the while with the poitical message pushed by lobbyists buying appointees of Republican presidents that drilling is safe, would it really shock you? Republican self-fulfilling prophecies at work: run on a campaign that government doesn't work, then get elected and set out to prove it.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 30, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

We are going to find out how utterly useless our govermemt is in a disaster situation

Liberals will demand this be corrected by, yup you guessed it, more government.

Posted by: Moonbat | April 30, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Is anyone surprised that the giant useless EPA has no plans, no resources, no idea about what to do about an oil spill?

The government never imagined something like this could have happened. Fat, lazy bureaucrats have so little imagination.

Berry in his most decisive move ever, bans new drilling.

Posted by: Moonbat | April 30, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

re: 2) It appears that Emmer is lining up institutional support that may push him past Seifert in the endorsement race. MPR is reporting that former Sen Coleman is making calls on behalf of Emmer. Given the endorsements granted thus far by the MN GOP, its looking like the baggers have control, which bodes well for Emmer winning the endorsement. Its also looking like the GOP is setting themselves up to be completely shut out of statewide offices in November.

Posted by: bsimon1 | April 30, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

And the SEIU thinks whomever defeats Senator Lincoln will be more pro-labor? Smart.

Posted by: SouthernerInDC | April 30, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

I can buy that Arkansas likes Dems. Two Dem Senators as well as a Dem Governor.

Posted by: DDAWD | April 30, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

From a good friend of mine in arkansas politics - he states that although Arkansas can't be classified as "Liberal," at least in the social area, it is still strongly democratic, and most voters WANT to vote for the Democrat, they just need to prove they are one of them (backto that general likeability, have a beer with, one of the guys sort of thing) and is sincere. Lincoln has burned too many bridges politically, and has a few other issues with many AR voters, so even if Halter is the more liberal candidate, if they are mainly about economically liberal issues rather than stressing socially liberal issues, and he is seen as sincere, that is what makes him more electable to Arkansas voters. In the primary, meanwhile, the party may be reluctant about switching candidates and losing the incumbent advantages without more evidence that it's the smarter move.

Posted by: kreuz_missile | April 30, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Ah, here we go...Obama's Katrina versus Obama's drilling ban (announced by none other than David Axelrod!) until the blame is fixed...on someone else...

Posted by: shrink2 | April 30, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Meanwhile, Obama's oily Katrina comes ashore, and Americans are silently tortured by a stealth weapon system right in their own backyards...


"The forces of fascism cannot control those who love liberty as much as life, because all thinking persons know that without free will, life is not worth living. That is the ultimate reason why the Third Reich fell, and it will be the reason why America's Fourth Reich -- the fusion center Gestapo -- is about to fall."

See latest comments, links, at: or re: "U.S. Silently Tortures..." and "U.S. Gov't Censors Net Political Speech of 'Targeted' Americans"

Posted by: scrivener50 | April 30, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Mark, I was surprised too. I forget what prompted me to look it up in the first place. I think I just wanted to see the Republican slate and saw the wiki page had GE polling.

It's hard to say how people getting to know him might affect his standings, however. For example, he's an unapologetic supporter of the affordable health care law and has gone after Lincoln for being less so. Obviously that's going to play better in a Dem primary, but he has been able to frame it as someone is either for HCR or someone is for big insurance. I really see no reason why he can't continue with that same message in a general election if he wins the primary.

I don't typically like primary challenges by someone who might be too liberal for an area. I would have supported Mary Landrieu in 2008 in a primary against someone who I might agree more with, but probably has no shot of winning in Louisiana. But the thing is that Landrieu, while relatively vulnerable, was still a favorite to hold the seat. You can't say that about Lincoln. She is in big trouble and it might be a good thing for her to be defeated in the primary just so the Dems can have someone who is not her.

Posted by: DDAWD | April 30, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Minnesota changed it's primary date to conform to federal law. I believe the primary date is August 10, not September 14.

Posted by: DoCo | April 30, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, ddawd, for that AR polling. I find it astonishing.

I looked at the wiki link. This is so counterintuitive. AR is not a liberal state. The concentration of liberals is in the D core. A liberal/labor D should run better against a blue dog or a DLC D in the D polls than in the GE polls, just as a far right R should run better among Rs than in the general population.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | April 30, 2010 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Chris, I don't know how you write so clearly and well so early in the morning! But you do.
Great article, particularly re. Lincoln.

Posted by: tjbv1 | April 30, 2010 7:03 AM | Report abuse

Halter is supposedly the more liberal candidate, but I really wonder if he is more electable than Lincoln. The mood is so anti-incumbent and Halter doesn't have the TARP stain on his record.,_2010#General_election_polling

He is also doing better in the general election hypothetical polls than Lincoln. I'm not a party purity guy by any means, but Halter might represent the better chance of holding the seat.

According to the one poll cited in the Wikipedia link, John Boozman is crushing the Republican primary field. Assuming he wins...
The latest polls have
Lincoln down 42%-52%
Halter down 42%-47%

So who would you rather have if you want a D win? The one with a crystallized public standing who is down by 10 or the one with a more malleable standing who is only down by 5?

And Halter seems to be doing better against almost all of the Republican opponents than Lincoln.

Posted by: DDAWD | April 30, 2010 6:53 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company