- - Sunday, October 31, 2010


Arkansas Democrat distances self from party

FORDYCE | As the only congressman in Arkansas seeking re-election, Rep. Mike Ross should have plenty of reason to fret as he runs when many Democrats and incumbents are endangered.

But Mr. Ross is one of the few Democratic candidates his party isn’t worried about as it tries to prevent GOP gains in blue-leaning Arkansas.

Mr. Ross is distancing himself from President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He’s also making clear that he’s no Blanche Lincoln, the Arkansas senator fighting to win re-election.

Mr. Ross is running ads touting that he never moved to Washington. It’s a contrast to criticism Mrs. Lincoln has received for moving to suburban Washington.

His Republican challenger, Beth Anne Rankin, is trying hard to undercut Mr. Ross’ image.


N.Y. voters weigh mayoral term limits

NEW YORK | Voters get to decide this week whether New York City officeholders are entitled to two or three consecutive terms.

The ballot question comes two years after New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg abruptly had the law changed so that he could run for mayor a third time.

The ballot on Tuesday will feature two questions for voters. One is on term limits and the other deals with changes in campaign-spending laws, ballot access and conflicts of interest rules.

The term-limits issue is getting all the attention because it gives voters the chance to weigh in after Mr. Bloomberg’s controversial move in 2008.

Quinnipiac University polling director Maurice Carroll predicts the two-term limit will be restored.


Clinton stumps for Mitchell in Maine

PORTLAND | Former President Bill Clinton returned to Maine on Sunday to campaign for Democrat Elizabeth “Libby” Mitchell as she and four other candidates for governor ramped up their get-out-the-vote efforts.

Mr. Clinton’s visit to the Lewiston Armory was his second stop in Maine in five weeks to campaign for Mrs. Mitchell, who’s sagging in polls to third in the five-way race behind Republican front-runner Paul LePage and independent Eliot Cutler. Independents Shawn Moody and Kevin Scott, who lag far behind, round out the field for Tuesday’s balloting.

The former president addressed a standing-room-only crowd in South Portland in late September to drum up support for Mrs. Mitchell.

Sunday’s rally came as the other candidates for the state’s open gubernatorial seat made their final appeals for votes across the state. Activists attending the event featuring Mr. Clinton were asked to sign up for get-out-the-vote volunteer shifts to help Mrs. Mitchell and other Democratic candidates.

Mr. Clinton told a crowd of about 750 to 800 people that Republicans dug the nation into a hole. The GOP is more concerned with Wall Street than Main Street, he said.


Outside groups spend $12M in Senate race

JEFFERSON CITY | Democratic Missouri Senate candidate Robin Carnahan says special-interest groups are trying to “buy themselves a senator” by spending millions of dollars on ads attacking her and backing Republican Rep. Roy Blunt.

But Mr. Blunt says Mrs. Carnahan, the Missouri secretary of state, is being “hypocritical” and “cynical” when she’s also received help from lobbyists and special interests.

The Sunlight Foundation, which tracks campaign spending, says outside groups have spent more than $12 million on Missouri’s Senate race.

Its figures show about $5.7 million of that has benefited Mr. Blunt, either by attacking Mrs. Carnahan or supporting his campaign. About $4.8 million has benefited Mrs. Carnahan. The remainder went to what the foundation called “electioneering communications,” broadcast communications not otherwise reported as independent expenditures.

Polls show Mr. Blunt leading Mrs. Carnahan in the race to succeed retiring Republican Sen. Christopher S. Bond.


Write-ins flood Senate race list

ANCHORAGE | The number of write-in candidates for Alaska’s U.S. Senate seat has swelled to about 150 amid an effort by conservatives to target the write-in candidacy of GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski.

The number by Thursday’s write-in deadline had grown from just a handful earlier last week.

Mrs. Murkowski mounted her bid after losing the primary to tea-party backed Joe Miller, and some conservatives have urged Alaskans to make their own write-in runs

Those conservatives include Dan Riehl, who issued a call on Andrew Breitbart’s Big Government website to “highlight the chaos brought about by Lisa Mrs. Murkowski’s seemingly unending quest for power” with her campaign.

It’s not immediately clear how many of those running did so because of the effort, though the write-in list includes people who’ve openly supported Mr. Miller.


Cuomo dismisses huge poll lead

NEW YORK | Democrat Andrew M. Cuomo says it would be a mistake for anyone to believe polls showing him far ahead in the race for New York governor.

Republican Carl Paladino is saying the same thing as he seeks to energize the still considerable Republican vote on Long Island to bolster his upstate GOP and conservative base.

Mr. Cuomo, the state attorney general, is making several campaign stops Sunday in and around New York City in the lead-up to Tuesday’s midterm elections.

Mr. Cuomo’s comments came as a new Siena Research Institute poll found him leading Mr. Paladino by a 58 percent to 33 percent margin.

Mr. Cuomo described the political environment as “very uncertain” in seeking a big Democratic turnout.

Mr. Paladino is seeking the critical independent vote, but Mr. Cuomo holds a slim edge there, too.

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