It only lacks “In a world…”

I know, I know: it’s the NRSC. But you have to admit: it’s nice to see them aiming at people that you’d want them to aim at, right?  – And in a manner calculated to offend, too. That ‘Democrat primary’ thing in particular; that’s just them straight-up trollin’.


Moe Lane

PS: Somebody should have explained to Elizabeth Warren that getting caught shouting like that in public is a primo way to ensure that you never, ever become anything more than a minor Senator from a reliably blue state.

So why isn’t the NRSC doing more in, say, New Hampshire’s Senate race? Or, indeed, anything?

I’m not exactly sure what the reasoning is, here.

  • It’s not because the race isn’t competitive.  It is – or, more accurately, it could be. Jeanne Sheehan is ahead of Scott Brown by 6.5 points in the current RCP average, sure.  But she’s also under 50% in the aggregate polling, which is the usual rule of thumb for an incumbent in trouble.  This is the sort of situation where throwing some advertisting cash into the mix could really come in handy.
  • Of course, it’s a little late for that now – back in May the Democrats blocked out about $1 million in ad buys for New Hampshire. I have been told that Senate Majority PAC has likewise put in $1.2 million.  The NRSC… has decided not to spend any money for the last month.
  • The problem here may simply be that there’s bad blood.  Now, this may be over something like Brown’s early (perhaps premature, in some people’s eyes) hard line on illegal immigration issues; or it may simply be that Scott Brown had some moderately harsh words to say about the NRSC’s operation back in 2011, and nobody ever forgets a slight in This Town*.
  • Either way, there doesn’t seem to be any last-minute money coming down the pipe. Which is… odd.

OK, let’s do cards-on-the-table.  On November 5th, the NRSC is going to go out and give itself a giant big pat on the back because, hey, they won the Senate! And they’re going to be exceedingly smug about it, because they’ll have in the process re-elected Mitch McConnell, and Thad Cochran, and – in my personal opinion, which I have not been shy about expressing – Pat Roberts.  And that’s fine; or, rather, that’s what will happen, so you might as well be prepared for it.

Continue reading So why isn’t the NRSC doing more in, say, New Hampshire’s Senate race? Or, indeed, anything?

NRSC: Senate map is nicely expanding for the GOP.

A quick bite:

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, a group tasked with getting Republicans elected to the Senate, believes Republicans have expanded the 2014 playing field with five more contested races as the GOP seeks to retake control of the chamber.

In a memo released to consultants Friday morning, NRSC political director Ward Baker writes that Republicans have become competitive in Colorado, New Hampshire, Virginia, Oregon and Minnesota since the start of the year.

Continue reading NRSC: Senate map is nicely expanding for the GOP.

NRSC: Why aren’t Democratic Senators practicing what they preach on Equal Pay?

Yeah, I know.  Fine: replace ‘NRSC’ with ‘Moe Lane’ and pretend that I asked the original question.  Because I’d like to know the answer, too:

The NRSC pulled the official payroll records for Democrat Senator offices and calculated the average pay for men and women for the most recent 6 month period available. Here’s what we found:

· Mark Udall pays women 91 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
· Mary Landrieu pays women 88 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
· Mark Begich pays women 82 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
· Mark Warner pays women 75 cents for every dollar that a man makes.
· Gary Peters pays women 67 cents for every dollar that a man makes.

On average, these five Democrats on the ballot in battleground states pay women in their office 80 cents for every dollar made by a male employee.

Continue reading NRSC: Why aren’t Democratic Senators practicing what they preach on Equal Pay?

Mildly dissenting on Mark Levin, SCF, and disclosures.

Over the last day or so there has been a fair amount of debate about whether or not Mark Levin should have disclosed a fairly consistently large purchase history by the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF) of his book before he endorsed the organization.  The ire is mostly directed at National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) Brad Dayspring, Communications Director, for tweeting this Thursday:


No doubt if Mark Levin responds to this post, he will point out that I’m unforgivably not appropriately famous, but: I feel that I must not only concur with Brad Dayspring that some disclosure may have been appropriate (although ‘fishy’ was probably, ah, too confrontational), but I must also disagree with Erick that there is a reductio ad absurdum argument requiring the NRSC to acknowledge their connection to k*i*d*d*i*e p*o*r*n (I ain’t about to link the two in Google searches).

Let’s start with the facts.  I’m presenting these facts with no opinions on meanings, or assumptions.  These are simply the undisputed facts as I have found them.

  • SCF has spent $427,006 on purchases of books by Mark Levin since September 10, 2013.
  • Mark Levin has promoted the SCF both on his show and on Twitter/Facebook multiple times during that same period.

So, taken together: what do these two facts mean?  Given Levin’s character/beliefs/ideologies, and given SCF’s penchant for wanting to provide conservative materials and books at events or as gifts… very likely, nothing at all.  Like-minded individuals and groups tend to like, buy, and talk about the same things.  However, disclosures are not intended to explain why an inappropriate relationship is just Jim-dandy.  Disclosures are intended to avoid even the appearance of impropriety by making sure that everyone knows existing relationships.  In fact, disclosures exist precisely to prevent anyone from believing the relationship is inappropriate.  It is not even mildly offensive to expect someone to do this: it is simply a good and ethical practice.

However, it is also an annoying practice, which is why people find it at best a chore, and worst a minefield.

Consider this scenario: you are, say, a video producer and you have clients.  You’re also a writer.  That means that you’re often in the position of having the opportunity to write about a video you’ve made for a client.  The temptation is to give a glowing report on the video you’ve made (as you’re often in complete agreement with whatever the video says) without mentioning that you were paid to make it.  The problem is – like it or not, – this automatically causes some people to doubt the veracity of your endorsement.  It’s not always fair, but it is understandable.  At this point, you have a somewhat annoying choice: get someone else not financially tied to it to write their thoughts, or else write it yourself and provide a disclosure.

And if you do the former, you will still get the inevitable comments from people to the effect of “Oh? You like the video you were PAID TO MAKE? SELLOUT SCUMBAG!!!!!”

We live in a world where the SCF and Mark Levin largely agree with each other on political issues.  We also live in a world where Politico’s Chief White House Correspondent quietly embeds advertisements in what appears to be news.  In both cases, when money changes hands, it’s just better to go ahead and let everyone know, Hey, I love X, Y, and Z: and I would even if we didn’t have a relationship that involved money.  People don’t like to feel tricked.  They like to know when they are being targeted by an ad.  If they aren’t – but you could still see how someone else might think otherwise – well, it’s best to let everyone know that’s not what is happening.  It’s not that hard, and it’s not asking that much.

On Erick’s take that Dayspring’s opinion warrants airing of any and all relationships of his own, I think that said take fails the fallacy test.  I don’t think anyone was suggesting that Levin disclose all relationships he has with anyone for any reason, prior to mentioning them.  This was about a specific disclosure of financial relationship.   So I guess all this is to say that I don’t really have a problem with Brad Dayspring’s take on Levin’s non-disclosure**.

I suppose my advice to both parties would be this: to Mr. Levin, I would (humbly, and non-famously suggest) that a quick acknowledgement that the SCF is a great customer (in addition to being a great ally) is not the worst thing in the world.  To Mr. Dayspring, I’d suggest that he may want to consider modifying histTwitter opinions to sound less confrontational and more conversational.  Maybe saying “should’ve disclosed,” as opposed to “fishy” (which carries an tone of indictment)?

Now, if everyone could get back to hating each other for completely different reasons, that would be great.  Or, here’s a radical thought: go smack around the Democrats.  They’re always worth smacking around.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*I promise you, Mark Levin’s publisher would have made him aware of an Amazon purchase of several hundred thousand dollars.

**Full disclosure: RedState has had a bit of a problem with Brad’s takes on a bunch of other stuff.

See, this is what I want from the #NRSC. And require. #obamacare #begich

Nothing about the primaries; nothing to tick off the grassroots or the Establishment – or your Aunt Sadie, for all I know. Just a nice, simple shackling of Democratic Senators to President Barack Obama and a cheery wave as the anchor chain starts unspooling into the deep water.

And lo! Easily embeddable, all across the Internet. This is an excellent use of the NRSC’s resources: when people yell at them in comments anyway, at least try to mention that so that they’ll understand to do more of the things that you like.

Moe Lane

PS: It is showing up on my Firefox just fine; but in case somebody is having issues, here’s the direct link.

I am expecting volatile Senate results for a while.

Just a link-free, quick observation: while I expect the House to not shift too much over the next few cycles (we will pick up some seats in 2014, probably, and lose some seats in 2016, probably*), I AM expecting a fairly large shakeup in the Senate in 2014, 2016, and 2018.  Why? Simple: in 2008 and 2010 we had somewhat drastic swings in Senate representation, and a slightly drastic one in 2006.  That means that 2014 and 2016 will have a good number of freshmen Senators being checked for the first time; and while the 2018 election will have less freshmen to be tested, some of the Democrats that did survive last cycle shouldn’t have.

So it should be brisk business for the the NRSC and DSCC for the next six years or so.


That’s it.  And that’s a guess, honestly.

Moe Lane

*And that will have no link whatsoever to whoever wins the Presidential election.

A quickie preliminary look at the committees’ debt situation.

Interesting.  Below are the latest (just before the election) Debt and CoH (Cash on Hand) totals for the various committees:

Debt CoH
DNC 20.89 10.33
DCCC 0.57 10.06
DSCC 0.23 4.24
RNC 9.9 67.55
NRSC 0 8.22
NRCC 0 10.98

Continue reading A quickie preliminary look at the committees’ debt situation.

#rsrh Linda Lingle (R) recruited for HI-SEN?

Excellent news, if true: former governor Lingle was popular for most of her two terms in office (term limits prevented her from running for a third term in 2010).  Some heavily partisan Democrats trumpeted some heavily partisan Democratic polling earlier in the year in an apparent attempt to keep her out of next year’s race; it’s apparently backfired.

This does not necessarily translate to ‘Lingle is a shoo-in.’  The state is reliably Blue these days; it’s one of the few places where the Republican party did unambiguously worse in the 2010 elections (loss of the governorship, a House seat*, and losses in both houses of the state legislature).  How bad is it, in fact?  Well, let me put it this way: meet Sam Slom, otherwise known as the Hawaiian Republican Senate caucus.  The retirement of Sen. Akaka is likewise going to attract a lot of Democratic hopefuls; Hawaii has an institutional tendency to keep re-electing incumbents once they’re in office, which means that anybody getting that Senate seat can reasonably expect it to hold it for a while – even by US Senate standards.

Continue reading #rsrh Linda Lingle (R) recruited for HI-SEN?

#rsrh So. Carly Fiorina made NRSC vice chair.

The Wall Street Journal aptly sums up in one sentence the reason why this relatively obscure bit of news is spreading rapidly along the right side of the blogosphere: “Former HP CEO Carly Fiorina will help Senate Republicans raise money ahead of next year’s election to do what she couldn’t in the last one: win seats held by Democrats.”


As to the merits of hiring her; if Fiorina’s being brought in just to help with bringing in big-donor fundraisers, that’s actually not a bad call – although the fifteen million that the WSJ reports that she brought in against Boxer last term is sorta-kinda contradicted by this Hill article, which gives as a not-self-funded number something more like eleven, twelve million.  Either way, the NRSC’s showing a current 1.7 million cash on hand (and no debt) to the DSCC’s 7.8 million (and 3.8 million debt); like everybody else out there right now, the committee kind of needs good fund-raisers.

The real question, though, is whether or not this hiring is strictly financial.  There’s some deeply skeptical people out there who are right now wondering whether this move has anything to do with Senate Minority Leader McConnell’s boneheaded one regarding the debt ceiling

Moe Lane