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Tags: Joe Walsh

While I Was Out, Some Votes Were Counted . . .



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Periodically on the NR cruise, guests would ask me for the latest on the various unresolved races. I had to tell them I had no real updates; I had been on a boat with them, with spotty Internet access.

While I was gone, here’s what we know is resolved:

  • Barring some astonishingly unexpected turn of events, Lisa Murkowski will be sworn in for another term as senator from Alaska.
  • Republican Renee Ellmers defeated incumbent Democrat Bob Etheridge in North Carolina’s 2nd congressional district. In the end, Etheridge choked.
  • Republican Joe Walsh defeated incumbent Melissa Bean in Illinois’s 8th district. He’s an eagle, that guy.

And now the not quite resolved:

  • In New York’s 25th district, there’s promising news for Republican challenger Ann Marie Buerkle: “Republican Ann Marie Buerkle increased her lead over U.S. Rep. Dan Maffei by a seemingly insurmountable 567 votes on Sunday when Wayne County completed its unofficial tally of absentee votes.”
  • In Texas, the recounting hasn’t added up to much change in the totals: “A ballot recount in South Texas demanded by U.S. Rep. Solomon Ortiz is nearly complete, but he’s still trailing Republican challenger Blake Farenthold. Only about 15,000 absentee and early ballots have yet to be re-tabulated in Cameron County, which includes Brownsville, in the 27th Congressional District race. Farenthold’s spokesman said officials expect to finish on Monday. All the other votes have been recounted, and Ortiz trails by about 800 votes, roughly the same tally on Election Day. The recount so far has resulted in each candidate gaining or losing only a few votes.”
  • In New York’s 1st district, Democrat Tim Bishop appears to have taken the lead through a count of absentee ballots: “After four days of absentee ballot counting in the race for the First Congressional District, incumbent Rep. Tim Bishop, D – Southampton, took the lead from Randy Altschuler, the Republican challenger and businessman from St. James. According to spokesman Jon Schneider, Bishop leads by 15 votes. Altschuler started the absentee ballot count, which began on Tuesday, with a 383-vote lead.”
  • Finally, the outlook for California’s Republicans appears to be some tough math: “U.S. Rep. Jim Costa of Fresno had a 2,742 vote edge over Republican Andy Vidak, a political novice from Hanford, in the 20th Congressional District. Costa had 51.6 percent of the vote to Vidak’s 48.4 percent in the district that includes all of Kings County and parts of Kern and Fresno counties, according to the secretary of state’s office. . . . Kings County had finished its count, Fresno County tallied about 99 percent of its ballots as of Friday, and Kern County planned to release the count from about 4,500 remaining ballots on Monday.”
  • “To the north, U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney of Pleasanton was leading by 1,783 votes over Republican David Harmer, an attorney from San Ramon. His lead in the 11th Congressional District was less than 1 percent of all votes cast.”

And we may get a chance to kick around Phil Hare again: “Defeated less than three weeks ago, U.S. Rep. Phil Hare, D-Ill., said Friday he’s thinking about running again in 2012. He said he probably wouldn’t make a decision for at least another couple of months.”

Tags: Andy Vidak , Blake Farenthold , David Harmer , Joe Walsh , Lisa Murkowski , Phil Hare , Renee Ellmers

The Unresolved House Races, Part Three



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As optimistic as the Ellmers and Buerkle campaigns seem, the developments described by the campaign of Republican Joe Walsh in Illinois’s 8th district are pretty alarming, as they try to hold on to a lead over incumbent Democrat Melissa Bean.

“We are in the fight of our lives as we count ballots in Cook County,” says Nick Provenzano, the campaign manager for Walsh who is now signing his messages, “Spokesman for Congressman-elect Joe Walsh, Illinois’ 8th District.”

Provenzano offers a description of an exceptionally odd ballot-counting process: “On Election Night, there were six precincts that were still not counted at 1 a.m. We discovered that they had problems in the polling place and were moved to nearby Elgin, Illinois to count the ballots.  At some point in the middle of the night all six precincts – representing thousands of votes — had been moved to Cicero, Illinois for ‘safe keeping’ . . . . We immediately dispatched legal counsel to ensure the chain of custody was not compromised and we have been chasing ballots ever since. On Friday evening, the Bean campaign approached the Cook County Clerk’s Office, requested and received a list of all outstanding absentee ballots with name, address, and phone numbers. As alarming as that was, they also asked for and were provided an exact image of a blank absentee ballot.”

“Identifying potential mischief, the Illinois GOP dispatched volunteers to track down these voters to ensure no foul play was occurring with these outstanding ballots,” Provenzano continues. “What they found was alarming. They documented their findings on affidavits and they were submitted to law enforcement for review.”

The affidavits describe one voter who had not lived at the listed address in the past 15 years; a voter who a caregiver said “could not respond to questions because of dementia,” and a group of ballots sent to a Clearbrook home for the mentally disabled in Rolling Meadows, Illinois.

“We continue to have a lead over Rep. Bean as the Cook County absentee ballots continue to trickle in,” Provenzano says. “The deadline/postmark date for ballots to be valid was November 1st. Therefore, it would be alarming to have large amounts of ballots arrive in the mail over the next few days.  How long should it take the U.S. Postal Service to deliver a ballot from suburban Schaumburg to Chicago? It has been nine days since the deadline has come and gone.  If large amounts of ballots do arrive nine days later, we’ll let you know and together we can alert America to what is happening here in Cook County.”

Tags: Joe Walsh , Melissa Bean

The NRCC Debuts ‘Still Counting’



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The NRCC has set up a page to contribute to all of their contenders whose races have gone into overtime, so to speak: Still Counting.

They say the vote totals on the page will be updated as quickly as possible. The short version is Renee Ellmers (NC-2) leads by more than 1,600 votes; Blake Farenthold (TX-27), Randy Altschuler (NY-01), Ann Marie Buerkle (NY-25), Andy Vidak (CA-20), and Joe Walsh (IL-08) lead by several hundred votes each; David Harmer (CA-11) and Andy Barr (KY-06) trail by several hundred votes each.

Tags: Andy Barr , Andy Vidak , Ann Marie Buerkle , Blake Farenthold , David Harmer , Joe Walsh , Randy Altschuler , Renee Ellmers

I Can’t Return Tainted Donations, I’ve Already Spent Them!



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With Rep. Charles Rangel facing ethics charges, Republican House candidate Joe Walsh reminds us of a particularly lame excuse from the person he seeks to replace, Melissa Bean:

While many other Democrats are rushing to dump campaign cash given by under-fire U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel, Melissa Bean isn’t.

The Barrington Democrat says she won’t donate to charity the $28,000 she received between 2005 and 2007 from the New York congressman or from committees associated with him.

The money was given before Rangel was under investigation for ethics abuses, Bean spokesman Jonathan Lipman pointed out. Plus, he says, the money has already been spent.

Bean hasn’t taken money from Rangel, former chairman of a powerful tax-writing committee, since 2007.

Bean’s position comes after U.S. Rep. Bill Foster of Batavia and repeat Democratic House candidate Dan Seals of Wilmette decided to give their Rangel contributions to local charities.

Ma’am, you have $1.1 million on hand. You can afford to give $28,000 to some worthy cause to demonstrate you don’t want to take money from lawmakers facing ethics charges.

Tags: Joe Walsh , Melissa Bean

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