The Wall Street Journal's Sarah Lueck writes that the special election for convicted congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham's (R-CA) seat will probably hinge on immigration and thus be a harbinger of November trends. The race between lobbyist and former Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-CA) and Democratic opponent Francine Busby has both candidates walking the tightrope to line up voters behind their platforms.
In a bit of reporting that did not go unNoticed at the DCCC, Lueck reports that Bilbray met with a handful of members of the local chapter of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly on Tuesday night.
"Todd Garcia VanBoxtel, vice chairman of the group, said he was concerned that mass deportations of illegal immigrants would create an 'uproar' by separating families and disrupting neighborhoods. In response, Mr. Bilbray sounded a softer tone than he often does on the campaign trail. 'You're going to have displacement,' he said. But he also predicted the House and Senate dealmakers would find a 'moderate, middle ground' in their negotiations, including removing a provision in the House bill that would make illegal immigrants felons."
The AP's Ron Fournier has all the details on two Democratic 527s. Donnie Fowler's is focused on the House and the Gehrke/Jordan/Baldick venture is focused on the Senate. LINK
Rep. John Doolittle's (R-CA) connections to both Jack Abramoff and Duke Cunningham have put his primary race on the watch list for next Tuesday, reports Bloomberg News. LINK
Although most members of the Old Media are salivating at the prospect of using Jim Webb's Senate campaign as a peg to do stories about collapsing support for the Iraq war, the Washington Post's ed board is not on board.
In its Democratic primary endorsement, the newspaper's ed board shunned the Scotts Irish vet in favor of the "Democratic party apparatchik" and former lobbyist Harris Miller. LINK
Miller, who has astutely labeled himself a "shorter, poorer" Mark Warner in a state that adores its former governor, won over the Post's heart by defining his campaign by a host of issues ranging from education policy to tax reform to fiscal "sanity." Although the Post admits its qualms with some specific points in Miller's policies, Webb's "populist" bravado and anti-war focus could not convince the paper to abandon the "devoted"--albeit flawed--would-be lawmaker that it sees in Miller.
On the money front, Webb has raised $294,000 since April 1 and has about $220,000 on hand to spend while Miller has raised $199,000 and donated $500,000 of his own money, leaving his campaign with about $520,000 on hand. LINK
"Although the Bush administration's poor approval ratings have damaged the prospects of Republican candidates elsewhere in the country, the effects have been less severe for Mr. Kean because of the popularity in New Jersey of his father, who served as governor from 1981 to 1989 and was chairman of the 9/11 Commission," writes Richard Jones of the New York Times as he describes the New Jersey Senate contest as one of the most competitive in the nation. LINK
With the good doctor -- Sen. Majority Leader Bill Frist -- by his side, Sen. Santorum lambasted Democratic Senate nominee Bob Casey Jr of ignoring an insurance crisis that's chasing women's health and other specialists out of the state in droves.