The independent efforts run by his super PAC, NextGen Climate, will include television ads, on-the-ground field organizing and get-out-the-vote operations that seek to mobilize voters on the local impacts of climate change. The group plans to…spotlight the climate-change skepticism of GOP Senate and gubernatorial candidates, and the campaign donations they have received from the fossil-fuel industry.
So far, the list of targeted Republicans includes Senate hopefuls Cory Gardner in Colorado, Terri Lynn Land in Michigan and Scott Brown in New Hampshire…the group also plans to target the GOP’s Senate nominee in Iowa.
Theoretically, this should mean that the GOP Senate candidates in those states will come under some media pressure to clarify their positions on the scientific consensus that human activity is the cause of global warming.
Climate is also assuming a higher profile because of the enormous spending of the Koch brothers. As Forbes reports, they have “contributed millions to organizations that have studied human-induced global warming with skepticism,” raising questions about “whether their political activities are blatantly self-interested,” because Koch Industries is a “major carbon emitter, vulnerable to tighter emissions controls.”
And right on cue, the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity is attacking Steyer’s plans, with a spokesman claiming: “The left knows that the global warming agenda is a loser for them with the American people.” The AFP spokesman also notes that red state Dem Senators are not embracing climate policy.
It’s true red state Dems might be skittish here. Note that Steyer’s group is not targeting Louisiana, Arkansas, North Carolina, or Alaska. Into all this will land Obama’s regulations on existing power plants — an issue with enormous consequences — and as I noted here yesterday, red state Dems might struggle with the issue.
But still, all of this really sharpens the stakes, and gives more significance to the Kochs’ efforts to influence who controls the Senate. Global warming is a “loser,” the Kochs’ political group tells us. Okay, let’s find out if that’s true. Even if the issue is politically worrisome to some Dems, it can only be a good thing if the debate over climate science is pushed to the fore. The mere fact that the issue could assume a higher profile than usual in the context of Senate races is itself a step forward.
Yes, Dems need a better answer here. But surely it’s also newsworthy that multiple GOP Senate candidates won’t say whether they support the Medicaid expansion that’s moving forward in their states — a major current policy issue — and indeed are evading that question with outright gibberish. Yet that isn’t registering with the national media. Here’s why it should.
Often appearing in a brightly colored dress, Grimes repeatedly refers to her wardrobe in her campaign addresses, even talking about her high heels. She calls herself a “strong Kentucky woman” or an “independent Kentucky woman” and…describes her grandmother as “one of the fiercest Kentucky women I know.” In speech after speech, Grimes cites her support for equal pay and says McConnell is “on the wrong side of every women’s issue.”
McConnell and other Republicans will go hard against Obama. Their Democratic opponents will run bank-shot campaigns, far less in support of the president than in opposition to the obstruction created by relentless Republican partisanship…But you have to ask: Will calls for Washington’s players to get along better have the same mobilizing power as blaming the whole mess on Obama?
* THE NEXT BIG OBAMACARE DISASTER: Get ready for an absurd level of pundit hype about this:
A survey by The Hill of state insurance commissioners found that news about ObamaCare premiums will hit nearly every week this summer, providing ample opportunity for Republicans to attack any significant premium hikes. A slew of states will publish proposed prices in June, including Colorado and Louisiana — where the GOP is targeting Democratic Senate incumbents. Others will wait until later in the season, including West Virginia and Arkansas.
As always, Republicans will profess absolute certainty that this guarantees them the Senate, and everyone will politely agree to forget that every previous Big Obamacare Disaster just didn’t move the polling numbers in any meaningful long term sense.
The primary wins Tuesday by Nunn and Grimes at least allow Democrats to play offense, since both women seek Republican-held seats. They also make it easier for the party and sympathetic interest groups to promote a national, women-oriented message that fires up that important base of support…Senate Democrats [are] pushing votes on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would give employees new tools to fight wage discrimination, and a higher minimum wage, which Democrats argue that women disproportionately need.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki and the VA (33 percent) receive more blame than either local VA hospitals (28 percent) or President Obama (17 percent). About a quarter doesn’t have an opinion. Partisan differences emerge: While 31 percent of Republicans blame Shinseki and the VA for the problems, nearly as many blame Mr. Obama (30 percent). Fewer Democrats and independents say the president is at fault.
It’s worth remembering that some of the problems veterans are having right now have very little to do with the VA and a whole lot to do with American health care…long waits for services are actually pretty common in the U.S. — even for people with serious medical conditions — because the demand for services exceeds the supply of physicians…The difference is that the VA actually set guidelines for waiting times and monitors compliance, however poorly. That doesn’t happen in the private sector. The victims of those waits suffer, too. They just don’t get the same attention.