Bill Clinton ties voter ID laws to Jim Crow, Hector Balderas got a big endorsement, numbers are in in Wisconsin, and Eliot Spitzer is off the air.

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* In a speech to young liberal activists today, former president Bill Clinton compared new Republican-backed voting restrictions to the laws that disenfranchised African-Americans in the Jim Crow era, saying “There has never been in my lifetime, since we got rid of the poll tax and all the Jim Crow burdens on voting, the determined effort to limit the franchise that we see today.” Clinton also told the Campus Progress audience not to be too hard on President Obama: “Even Albert Einstein couldn’t fill a $3 trillion hole with $800 billion dollars.”

* New Mexico Auditor Hector Balderas (D) has gotten a pretty big endorsement in the upcoming Senate primary: former Lt. Gov. Diane Denish is backing his bid. Balderas will face Rep. Martin Heinrich (D), who has more support from the Democratic establishment. Denish is a former chairwoman of the state Democratic Party and she ran for governor (unsuccessfully) in 2010.

* Some fundraising numbers are in for the Wisconsin recall elections, and so far, Republicans are in the lead. Four Republican state senators lead their Democratic challengers in fundraising. (The Democratic incumbent state senators have not filed their fundraising numbers yet, because those elections are a week later.) State Sen. Alberta Darling (R) raised $536,479, more than any other candidate. Outside groups are spending millions here as well.

* Mitt Romney had hoped to raise $50 million in the first half of 2011, according to an email sent by a Utah-based fundraiser late last year. He fell about $30 million short. Romney’s total is also a bit shy of the $23.5 million he raised in the first quarter of 2007. Still, with $18.25 million raised in the second quarter and $12.6 million in the bank, the former Massachusetts governor is way ahead of his rivals in the cash race.


* Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R) has paid back an additional $1,888 in hotel bills for taxpayer-funded travel after an audit found he had missed those expenses. Kinder already reimbursed the state $52,320 for travel expenses on trips that included personal and political events. The review also found that taxpayers paid for $10,893 worth of meals Kinder ate on in-state trips since 2005. The auditor could not determine whether those charges were justified, and Kinder’s office said he would not reimburse the state on those charges, because any “potentially questionable meals” would be “more than offset” by his “excessive reimbursement” for hotel use. Kinder will likely challenge Gov. Jay Nixon (D) in 2012.

* The primary for retiring Rep. Lynn Woolsey’s district has begun. Marin County Supervisor Susan Adams has declared her candidacy for the liberal California Democrat’s seat. In her release, Adams acknowledged that redistricting could change the 6th district significantly. “While the politicians in Sacramento and Washington bicker about Congressional boundaries, I’m preparing my run for Congress because for me, the people of Northern California always come first,” she said in a statement. Assemblyman Jared Huffman and activist Norman Solomon have both formed campaign committees and will likely face Adams in the primary.

* The National Republican Trust PAC is running radio ads in California’s 36th district, the only outside group working for Republican Craig Huey in the upcoming special election. The spots attack Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn (D) for focusing on social issues: “Is that all she has? Hahn is simply reaching for an issue that divides us. ... Abortion isn't the issue.” Hahn and Huey will hold their first and only debate tomorrow night; the election is on July 12th.

* Former New York governor Eliot Spitzer’s CNN show has been canceled after about eight months on the air. The show struggled since its October launch, with co-host Kathleen Parker leaving in February and viewership sliding. Spitzer will be replaced in the 8 P.M. slot by “Anderson Cooper 360.”


Like your elementary school art project, only good.

With Rachel Weiner and Aaron Blake