Random Updates on 2012 Races

This week had a few interesting tidbits on the upcoming 2012 campaigns.

Mike Pence released what his team is calling his first campaign video.  We’d say it is the second video since he announced with a video but we digress.  The video is a pretty typical bio spot and appears to have been shot during his Columbus campaign kick-off.  Also, it has been reported that Pence has raised $300,000 from major donors alone since making his campaign official.  The Gregg campaign said they are actively fundraising but didn’t report a number for comparison.  This is a big boost for Team Pence and should start the freight train rolling.  Pence isn’t unbeatable yet–but he is putting himself in strong position to make himself unbeatable.

The Indiana Senate race appears to be much of the same with a few blips about poor staff decisions on the Mourdock campaign.  It seems they need some classes on how not to deal with people harassing your candidate.  Rule #1:  Don’t touch anyone or their camera.  That said, to say that the blogger was assaulted is a stretch and this is really a non-story in the grand scheme of things. 

We are far more interested in the campaign finance reports that will come out in a month.  We’ll be watching to see if Mourdock has brought in the national donor groups and boosted his fundraising.  If he hasn’t, it is bad news for the Mourdock crew.

In a somewhat related note, there was a poll going around northeast Indiana with a ballot match-up between Lugar, McIntosh and Mourdock.  McIntosh has been rumored to be considering the 5th and 6th Congressional Districts and the poll led many to believe he was also considering the U.S. Senate Primary.  McIntosh cleared it up yesterday with a phone call to Jim Shella saying he is only considering the 5th Congressional District.  Looks like Congressman Burton continues to have a target on his back.

Finally, the 6th Congressional District is starting to become a little clearer.  McIntosh indicated he is no longer looking at the district.  Matt Strittmatter, former Wayne County Sheriff, got out of the race and has backed Luke Messer.  That leaves the 6th with Messer, Don Bates and Travis Hankins.  We’ll be keeping an eye on this one for more developments.



Donnelly Announces for U.S. Senate by Video

Video announcements seem to be all the cool thing to do this year.  First, we had Congressman Mike Pence announce for Governor via video and now we have Congressman Joe Donnelly announcing he’ll run for U.S. Senate.

You can watch the video at the campaign’s new website, www.joeforindiana.com. The video is essentially a bio ad with a lot of talk about hard work and moving America forward but not much about how.  That said, Donnelly needs to introduce himself to the rest of the state outside the 2nd District and this video isn’t a bad start.

Gary Welsh, over at Advance Indiana, maintains that Joe Donnelly is really hoping to match up against  Senator Richard Lugar and not Richard Mourdock.  And people accuse us of a political spin!  There is no way Donnelly wants to match up with Senator Lugar.  Lugar has broad appeal especially in the General Election and the residency issue is more an issue of perception than a legal concern. 

The bottom line is there is no way Joe Donnelly would be running for U.S. Senate if there was not a Republican Primary.  The primary race will eventually get very ugly on both sides and Lugar will spend his $3 million cash on hand down to nothing if that is what it takes to win.  The eventual Republican nominee will be beat up and have spent a great deal of their money when they come out of the 2012 May Primary while Joe Donnelly will be spending his time raising money and gearing up for battle. 

Indiana is a Republican leaning state but this could interesting.

Campaign Finance Reports: U.S. Senate Primary

The Moudock Campaign has reported raising $159,000 this last quarter.  As Hoosier Pundit notes, that is more than Mourdock indicated he would report a few weeks ago.  We disagree with Scott’s analysis on the mount of money being substantial for the amount of time State Treasurer Richard Mourdock had to raise the money.  And, like it or not, Donnelly’s finance reports matter since he is likely to be the Democrat nominee.  He raised  over $363,000 this quarter. 

 All that being said, the next quarter report is incredibly important for Team Mourdock to show they can raise serious dollars and are beginning to engage national TEA Party funding groups.

We already reported that Senator Lugar has nearly $3 million cash on hand and raised  just over $973,000 fo the quarter.  That alone is enough of a concern for Team Mourdock without the report from Brian Howey saying Lugar raised $145,331 in the last week while Mourdock raised just slightly more in the entire finance quarter.

Lugar Raises Nearly $1 Million; Mourdock Between $125,000 and $150,000

Yesterday, Senator Dick Lugar’s campaign released their campaign finance information saying they raised $973,853 in the last finance quarter and will report having $3 million cash on hand at the end of May.  Mourdock is said to have raised between $125,000 and $150,00 in his first quarter.  

Mourdock had an impressive start with his county chair endorsements but $3 million is going to be tough to overcome.  We would have thought his campaign would have done more to recruit out-of-state funding from larger national groups with an ax to grind with Senator Lugar to show some financial strength. 

We aren’t sure how this will turn out but what we do know is Mourdock needs to raise some serious dollars to have a  chance.  Money isn’t everything–unless you don’t have it.

We Asked, You Answered: Looks Like Mourdock is Good to Raise Money

A few days ago, we asked whether or not State Treasurer Richard Mourdock is permitted to raise funds during the long session of the General Assembly since Indiana Code indicates state officers are not permitted to raise money during the session. 

We also said we know Richard Mourdock to be a stand-up guy and that there was either an explanation or he was unaware of the rule.  As it turns out, there is an explanation.

A helpful reader was able to find an advisory opinion from the FEC on a similar case in Georgia where legislators are not permitted to fundraise during the legislative session.  The opinion indicates the FEC supersedes state law on many issues of federal campaigns including this specific fundraising issue.

Open Question: Mourdock Raises $125,000. Is It Allowed?

There was an article yesterday in Politco where U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock talked about his campaign finances and the upcoming finance reports. Mourdock says he has raised about $125,000 so far.  Senator Lugar had over $2.4 million in the bank in the last report.

Mourdock also said, “People who annually give to the state party $50,000 a year have called me to say, ‘I want to help you, I want to be on your finance committee.’  And these are people who wrote Sen. Lugar a check as recently as January.”  We are interested to see who and you can bet we will be watching for the finance reports to come out to figure it out.

The bigger question for us right now is if Richard Mourdock is permitted to fundraise. Many of you probably recall that there was a law passed through the General Assembly last year prohibiting state officers and those candidates for state office to fundraise during the long session i.e. a budget session.  This is a budget session and Richard Mourdock is the State Treasurer. 

To be clear, Richard Mourdock is a stand-up guy and we would assume that there is either an explanation or he was not aware of the rule.  But we are asking the question.  Is there some loophole we haven’t read in the Indiana Code  that allows Mourdock to be raising money during the budget session?  Lawyers, let us know what you think.

It’s Official: Mourdock Vs. Lugar

Richard Mourdock made it official this morning and kicked-off his campaign for Senate against Senator Richard Lugar. You can read the entire speech here but we’ll give you some of the highlights.

First off, this is not going to be a friendly race.  While Mourdock started off saying how much he respects Sen. Lugar and what an honorable public servant he has been, his campaigns actions spoke louder than his words.  Right as the event was getting started, Mourdock’s twitter feed began promoting a video entitled “Obama’s Favorite Republican – Dick Lugar.” 

Second, Mourdock is using his normal historical references in this race.  The speech noted that the announcement was planned for George Washington’s Birthday for a reason.  Washington could have served as President for life but walked away because he knew it was time. This is a theme that we should all get used to hearing for the next year and a half since it appears to be Mourdock’s campaign slogan.

Third, Mourdock said that members of the Republican State Committee asked him to consider running as early as last summer.  We are told that several members of State Committee were at the announcement with 6th District Chair Ted Ogle introducing Mourdock.  Mourdock has released a list of 68 County Chairs who have endorsed his candidacy.   

The only thing we know for sure right now is that it is going to be a LONG 15 months.