Tags: Steve Southerland

Okay, Fine, No Privacy for Anyone, Including the Elites!


The final Morning Jolt of the week examines whether pundits ought to be evaluated by their appearance, further discussion of what, if anything, the U.S. should do in response to a five-figure, soon to be six-figure, death toll in the Syrian civil war, and then this bit of useful mischief . . . 

Come On, Senator, Fair Is Fair. If the Government Can Read Our E-mails . . . 

Sen. Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said two days ago he believed that the National Security Agency’s PRISM domestic surveillance program was appropriate for our times. He added:

“In World War II, the mentality of the public was that our whole way of life was at risk, we’re all in. We censored the mail. When you wrote a letter overseas, it got censored. When a letter was written back from the battlefield to home, they looked at what was in the letter to make sure they were not tipping off the enemy,” Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters on Capitol Hill. “If I thought censoring the mail was necessary, I would suggest it, but I don’t think it is.”

Now FreedomWorks is asking Graham to disclose his e-mail passwords.

Speaking of disclosure, Debra Heine sends along word . . . 

Enter Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) who figured out away to insinuate White House involvement in the IRS targeting scandal and needle the president about the NSA spy scandal at the same time.

Stockman sent a letter to Chairman Darrell Issa of the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee on Tuesday, asking him to subpoena all NSA records of phone calls between employees of the White House and the IRS.

“Obama assures the public he only collected this information to uncover wrongdoing and protect civil liberties. Clearly he would want us to use it to investigate this case, because otherwise he’d be lying,” said Stockman.

“If Obama has nothing to hide he has nothing to fear,” said Stockman.

“This case must be investigated fully, given admitted wrongdoing by the IRS, its potentially criminal implications and revelations the White House has been less than honest about what they knew and when,” said Stockman. “Obama says the PRISM program is perfectly legal, so there should be no problem whatsoever in providing the information on White House and IRS phone calls.”

“The only possible scenario in which the administration refuses to comply would be if it would reveal unconstitutional or illegal behavior,” said Stockman.

I have a feeling this will end up generating an exchange along the lines of this legendary one from Serenity, featuring Twitter star Adam Baldwin:

Mal: You want to run this ship?

Jayne: Yes!

Mal: (trying to think) Well . . . you can’t.

Tags: Lindsey Graham , Steve Southerland , NSA , Barack Obama

Look at the Bright Side, DCCC, This Poll Helps With Triage.


This race isn’t done, but obviously you don’t see a lot of embattled incumbents making up a 12-point margin in the final two weeks.

Setting the stage for one of the biggest U.S. House upsets of 2010, Republican Steve Southerland has built a double-digit lead over seven-term Rep. Allen Boyd in Florida’s 2nd Congressional District, a new Sunshine State News Poll shows.

Southerland is beating Boyd 50-38 in the North Florida/Panhandle district, according to the poll conducted Oct. 14-17.

Though Boyd maintains a hefty fund-raising advantage over Southerland, a first-time candidate, the Democratic incumbent is bogged down by a 56 percent “unfavorable” rating. Just 33 percent of respondents view Boyd favorably, while Southerland enjoys a much healthier 45/32 favorable/unfavorable score.

Tags: Allen Boyd , Steve Southerland

The DCCC’s Panic List


Reid Wilson and the AP reveal that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee reserved $7.7 million in air time in the first wave of massive buys, locking in low rates now in an effort to save their House majority.

Most of these expenditures are quite surprising.

FL 02: Rep. Allen Boyd (D) will get $455K in assistance — nearly saturation level in the Tallahassee and Panama City over the race’s final 2 weeks. Boyd will likely face funeral home director Steve Southerland (R) this fall.

As of the June 30 filing, Boyd has $1.06 million in cash on hand; Southerland, about $194,000. That’s a striking amount of money to put into a race where your guy already has a 5-to-1 cash advantage, unless you’re in a panic that he desperately needs help fast.

ID 01: Dems shouldn’t have a lot to worry about after a promising challenger fell flat against Rep. Walt Minnick (D), but the committee is reserving $135K in Boise and $158K in Spokane for his race just in case. Minnick faces state Rep. Raul Labrador (R), who doesn’t have a lot of cash on hand.

The cash-on-hand advantage for the incumbent is $1.1 million to $68,000. A 16-to-1 cash-on-hand advantage isn’t enough to get the Democrats to feel comfortable about this race?

Once you’re spending nearly $300,000 in Idaho, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised to see the DCCC committing $336,000 to help Leonard Boswell in Iowa, even though he has a 7.3-to-1 advantage in cash on hand over Republican Brad Zaun.

The more I go through this list, the more mind-blowing these planned expenditures become. I completely agree that Pennsylvania Democrat Kathy Dahlkemper is vulnerable. But if she can’t beat Republican Mike Kelly with her current 10-to-1 cash advantage in a pretty cheap district to advertise in, I’m not sure how $1.1 million in DCCC funds is going to save her. (It is possible some portion of that $1.1 million will be used for Mark Critz, but that’s still a pretty stunning amount.)

Also note that at this point, no money is set aside for races with presumably vulnerable GOP incumbents like Charles Djou or Joseph Cao. Then again, the DCCC may put that in a separate category, and when you have 255 seats in the House, those races are luxuries anyway.

(This post will be updated as I go through each race.)

Tags: Allen Boyd , Steve Southerland

Another Poll Confirms the List of 99


Oh look, another incumbent House Democrat who’s been around for quite a few terms trailing a relatively unknown GOP challenger, what a surprise: “A new poll conducted for the NRCC shows an unlikely target emerging in Florida. The previously unreleased poll, which was obtained by The Fix, shows Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) trailing funeral home director Steve Southerland 52 percent to 37 percent despite the fact that less than one in five voters recognize Southerland’s name.”

The guys at Swing State Project see this result and exclaim, “Here’s a race that wasn’t on anyone’s competitive list that’s suddenly bursting into view.”

Hey, this race was on at least one list:

Allen Boyd, Florida: The eastern part of Florida’s panhandle isn’t usually Democratic country (both McCain and Bush won easily), and Allen Boyd is one of those classic “how the heck is this guy representing this district?” incumbents. Eleven Republicans considered running against him this year; nine remain in the race, and Steve Southerland, co-owner and president of a chain of funeral homes, appears to be the most well-funded. Southerland is hitting Boyd hard on votes that cost the district jobs.

Tags: Allen Boyd , Steve Southerland

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