Unions Back Grimm Despite Scandal
What scandal? Michael Grimm is not giving up on his reelection campaign, despite reports that the FBI may conduct a formal investigation into allegations that he received illegal contributions. The New York congressman announced the support of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, the second union endorsement he’s claimed in the past week. “Joining the United States Marine Corps, Michael Grimm was willing to fight for the freedoms we all enjoy as Americans. As a[n] FBI agent, Michael fought to uphold the law. As a 9/11 first responder he worked alongside our brothers in the FDNY as a proud New Yorker,” the UFOA’s president Al Hagan said in a statement. Grimm has been accused of receiving illegal campaign contributions from a rabbi influential in Israel. Hagan told the New York Daily News that he was not thinking about the allegations against Grimm when he made his endorsement.
Scott Walker Begs Wisconsinites to Oppose Recall
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker doesn’t want a recall vote on his office, and urges voters to oppose this challenge in a new television ad. The Wisconsin recall will be carried out like a special election, where the incumbent runs against challengers instead of holding a direct vote on the incumbent. In the ad Walker touts the drop in the state’s unemployment and deficit since he was elected and says, “Help me oppose the recall, and let’s use the foundation we’ve built to keep moving Wisconsin forward.”
Romney Lends Utah Senator His Support
Mitt Romney is taking time out from his own presidential campaign to help Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch ahead of Utah’s primary election. Over the weekend, the presidential hopeful lent his voice to a radio ad released by Hatch’s campaign in which he praised the six-term senator. Hatch is being challenged by state Sen. Dan Liljenquist, a Tea Party favorite who, polls show, has a good chance of unseating the six-term senator. Hatch’s campaign is also being aided by wealthy outside spending group American Action Network, which will air a television ad Monday promoting his record as a supporter of adding a constitutional amendment for a balanced budget. While Utah is a safe state for Romney, both in the primary and if he ends up running against Obama in the general, the move could further alienate Tea Party conservatives who have yet to warm to his candidacy.
Washington State Congressional Election Heats Up
Last week Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wa.) gave a surprise announcement that he’d retire at the end of his term. Now, state Sen. Derek Kilmer has thrown his hat into the ring as the first Democrat vying to replace Dicks, who’s been in office since 1977. Kilmer, a lifelong resident of Washington state, joined the state House of Representatives in 2004 before being elected to the state Senate in 2006 and won reelection four years later in the state’s most right-leaning district to be won by a Democrat. Republicans Jesse Young, a business-technology consultant, and Doug Cloud, a prosecutor who’s become a regular congressional candidate, have also entered the race.
Former Maine Governor Eyes Snowe’s Seat
Candidates are already lining up to fill Olympia Snowe’s soon-to-be-available Senate seat, among them former Maine governor Angus King. King, an Independent, is reportedly slated to announce his candidacy Monday evening, though he’s declined to confirm whether he’ll be running until after he gives a lecture at Bowdoin College, where he is a distinguished lecturer. Though his campaign hasn’t officially started, King already has one endorsement, from 2010 gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler, also an Independent. Some Democrats are concerned that King’s social liberalism could hurt their party’s chances of reclaiming what’s emerged with Snowe’s surprise announcement as the party’s most promising opportunity to pick up a new seat.