POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 6/7

GOP Primary Canceled After All Candidates Disqualified

Republicans in Oconee County, South Carolina “have canceled their primary after officials say a South Carolina Supreme Court ruling left no qualified candidates for the ballot,” theAP reports.

The Columbia State notes “the commotion comes a day after the high court ruled that the Republican Party in Florence County hadn’t adhered to a May ruling requiring that only candidates who submitted financial and candidacy paperwork at the same time are eligible for the election.”

Nearly 200 candidates across the state “were dropped from ballots after the court’s initial ruling — and attorneys have contended the number would have been higher, had party leaders in all counties complied.”

Sorkin Claims No Agenda

Writer/director Aaron Sorkin told the New York Times that his new HBO series “The Newsroom” has a bias toward either party because he doesn’t have one.

Said Sorkin: “I have no political background, and I have no political agenda. I do think that there are going to be people who say that I’m just putting my own politics on display. Which again I’m not. I don’t really have my own politics. I’m very easily convinced of other people’s position.”

But it didn’t take long for Jeff Bercovici to find that Sorkin gave 19 separate campaign contributions totaling $144,500 since 2007. Every one of those contributions went to a Democratic candidate or group.

Exchange of the Day

From today’s press gaggle with White House press secretary Jay Carney on Air Force One:

Q: Can I ask you about the California fundraisers, in particular? The President is getting a lot of heat over cavorting with showbiz types. Rush Limbaugh is referring to him as Barack Kardashian, can you believe. What is your response to that? (Laughter.)

CARNEY: Two words — Donald Trump. Next question.

Alex Burns notes it’s a “neat illustration of how Democrats can and will use Donald Trump as a rhetorical high card in 2012.”

Romney’s Battleground

Politico obtained a presentation by Mitt Romney’s pollster which identifies seven target states that Romney needs to win the necessary 270 electoral votes to be elected president: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia.

Ethics Case Against Waters Will Proceed

The House Ethics Committee announced that Rep. Maxine Waters’ (D-CA) rights “were not violated in its investigation of her and its case will proceed,” The Hill reports.

“In a letter to Waters, the committee wrote to inform the lawmaker that it had considered the 12 allegations of misconduct her lawyer had presented against the panel and found that none of them was in violation of the House or committee rules.”

Final Exit Polls Still Show Obama Ahead in Wisconsin

With updated Wisconsin exit poll data in, First Read notes that voters prefer President Obama over Mitt Romney in the presidential election by a 51% to 44% margin.

But there’s a big caveat: As much as 12% of the electorate voted absentee, and absentees are not included in the exit poll.

Meanwhile, The Fix explains what happened with the ever changing exit poll numbers Tuesday night.

Team of Figureheads

President Obama kicked off his administration a declared goal of creating a Lincoln-esque “team of rivals” in his Cabinet. But Todd Purdum notes that thanks to his own temperament and the modern White House, he’s created something very different and “relates to his Cabinet the way he relates to the rest of the world.”

Said one former adviser: “He’s a total introvert. He doesn’t need people.”

“The larger truth is that modern presidents, with a few exceptions, don’t need, and don’t use, Cabinet members as privy councillors on the most important questions. They have other people for that. Presidents do need competent, even if anonymous, executives to run the vast machinery of the federal government, but most Cabinet secretaries don’t really do that either — at least not in the classic C.E.O. sense — leaving such work to their deputies and the professional civil-service staffs.”

Economic Pessimism Grows

A new Economist/YouGov poll finds Americans’ feelings about the country’s economic trajectory have taken a negative turn in the wake of last Friday’s poor jobs report.

Key findings: 39% think the economy is getting worse, 33% say they it’s about the same while just 20% think it’s getting better.

Mesh Report: Few options left for Obama on economy.

Quote of the Day

“I don’t think it would have made the difference. But it’s kind of like Thanksgiving at your in-laws. If you go, it doesn’t guarantee it’s going to be fun, but if you don’t go there’s going to be hell to pay.”

— Paul Begala, quoted by CNN, saying it was a mistake for President Obama to skip campaigning in Wisconsin.

See more…

Clinton Urges Extension of Tax Cuts

Bill Clinton made news again telling CNBC that the American economy “already is in a recession and urged Congress to extend all the tax cuts due to expire at the end of the year.”

He later clarified that he doesn’t want the extension permanent, as many Republicans have urged, but instead wants to avoid the “fiscal cliff” coming at the end of the year that could hurt the economy.

Many Didn’t Think Recall was Legitimate

First Read: “Maybe the most important numbers in the exit poll from last night: Just 27% said recall elections are appropriate for any reason (and Barrett won those folks, 90%-9%). By comparison, 60% said that recalls are legitimate only for official misconduct (and Walker won them, 68%-31%), while another 10% said recalls are never appropriate (and Walker won here, 94%-5%). Bottom line: Walker benefited greatly from the fact that many Wisconsin voters didn’t think the premise of last night’s recall was legitimate.”

Greece Warns of Going Broke

“As European leaders grapple with how to preserve their monetary union, Greece is rapidly running out of money,” the New York Times reports.

“Government coffers could be empty as soon as July, shortly after this month’s pivotal elections. In the worst case, Athens might have to temporarily stop paying for salaries and pensions, along with imports of fuel, food and pharmaceuticals.”

Obama Holds Solid Lead in Pennsylvania

A new Franklin & Marshall poll in Pennsylvania finds President Obama leading Mitt Romney by a 12-point margin, 48% to 36%.

Voters in Two California Cities Approve Pension Cuts

“In both San Diego and San Jose, voters appeared to overwhelmingly approve ballot initiatives designed to help balance ailing municipal budgets by cutting retirement benefits for city workers,” the New York Times reports.

Wall Street Journal: “Since the recession, dozens of state legislatures and city councils throughout the U.S. have scaled back benefits and jobs in an attempt to plug large budget holes. But unlike most efforts to rein in pension costs, the San Jose measure targets current workers and retirees rather than focusing only on workers that have yet to be hired.”

Wisconsin Recall was Replay of 2010 Race

“In the end, after all the ground-breaking rancor and searing conflict and mind-boggling money and crushing attention, Scott Walker’s 2012 victory for governor looked a lot like his 2010 victory for governor,” Craig Gilbert reports.

“This was a volatile conflict but not a volatile electorate. Instead, voters showed every sign of being fixed in place when it came to their views of Walker.”

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: “The race was a rematch of the 2010 race, when Walker beat Barrett by nearly 6 percentage points. Turnout Tuesday was higher than it had been 19 months earlier, and Walker was leading by 7 percentage points with 96% of the vote counted.”

California Primary Produces One-Party Races

California voters sent Democratic candidates to face each other in November in two high-profile congressional races, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The closest-watched race in CA-30 pitted former allies Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) against one another. The two Democrats were forced to face off because the state’s redistricting process left them on overlapping turfs. As the top two finishers, they’ll go on to November’s general election.

Meanwhile, in CA-44, Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA) and Rep. Laura Richardson (D-CA) were both declared winners soon after polls closed.

“Tuesday’s poll marked the first time in more than a decade that Californians voted under an open-primary system rather than in party primaries. Instead of separate ballots for Republican and Democratic candidates, sending one of each to the November election, there’s a single ballot listing all the candidates, with the top two vote-getters advancing to the general election.”

Pascrell Defeats Rothman Easily

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) surprised even his own supporters by romping over Rep. Steve Rothman (D-NJ) in a Democratic primary race most thought was too close to call, theNewark Star Ledger reports.

The race “was nasty from the beginning, tearing apart the two men’s friendship and costing their campaign accounts millions. It even pitted President Obama, who tacitly supported Rothman, against former President Bill Clinton, who came to New Jersey on Friday to campaign for Pascrell.”

Virginia Senate Race Remains Too Close to Call

A new Quinnipiac poll in Virginia shows Tim Kaine (D) barely edging George Allen (R) in the U.S. Senate race, 44% to 43%.

Said pollster Peter Brown: “The Senate race looks like it will go down to the wire on Election Day. With 10 percent of voters undecided, each man has the opportunity to win the seat.”

McMahon, Murphy Way Ahead in Connecticut

A new Quinnipiac poll in Connecticut finds Linda McMahon (R) leading Christopher Shays in the GOP Senate primary, 59% to 30%.

In the Democratic Senate primary, Rep. Christopher Murphy (D) leads Susan Bysiewicz (D), 50% to 20%.

A general election match up is close with Murphy edging McMahon, 46% to 43%.

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