Whoa: John Bel Edwards just excoriates Vitter in new ad, saying he ‘chose prostitutes over patriots’

Screenshot from John Bel Edwards (D) ad attacking David Vitter (R) in 2015 LA-Gov race

It’s rare that a campaign ad just stops me in my tracks and sends my jaw to the floor, but … yeah. Just watch:

Narrator: The choice for governor couldn’t be more clear. John Bel Edwards, who answered our country’s call and served as a ranger in the 82nd Airborne Division. Or David Vitter, who answered a prostitute’s call minutes after he skipped a vote honoring 28 soldiers who gave their lives in defense of our freedom. David Vitter chose prostitutes over patriots. Now, the choice is yours.

How do you respond to that if you’re Vitter? What do you even say? That Edwards is a desperate Obama clone who will destroy Louisiana? Republicans were going to say that anyway. In fact, they already have.
The broader question is whether Edwards’ decision to go nuclear over Vitter’s prostitution scandal—in a way Vitter’s electoral foes never have before—signals anything about the

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Morning Digest: Republican Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne endorses Democrat for governor over David Vitter

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne (R) (at right) endorses state Rep. John Bel Edwards (D) for governor (Nov. 5, 2015)

Jay Dardenne (at right) endorsing John Bel Edwards

Leading Off:
LA-Gov: The amazing Louisiana governor’s race just keeps getting amazing-er. On Thursday morning, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, a Republican who finished fourth in the primary with 15 percent, endorsed Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards in the Nov. 21 runoff. In announcing his support for Edwards, Dardenne was particularly scathing toward his fellow Republicans:

“The Republican brand has been damaged by the failed leadership of Bobby Jindal during this last term. David Vitter’s governorship will further damage that brand as I and others have pointed out during the campaign. I cannot and will not sit idly by and refuse to speak truth to power.”

Obviously this is a guy who doesn’t care about his electoral future, because he just signed his political death warrant by unleashing cannon fire on his own party. But Dardenne is

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Louisiana’s Republican lieutenant governor endorses Democrat for governor over David Vitter

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne (R) (at right) endorses state Rep. John Bel Edwards (D) for governor (Nov. 5, 2015)

Jay Dardenne (at right) endorsing John Bel Edwards

The amazing Louisiana governor’s race just keeps getting amazing-er. On Thursday morning, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, a Republican who finished fourth in the primary with 15 percent, endorsed Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards in the Nov. 21 runoff. In announcing his support for Edwards, Dardenne was particularly scathing toward his fellow Republicans:

“The Republican brand has been damaged by the failed leadership of Bobby Jindal during this last term. David Vitter’s governorship will further damage that brand as I and others have pointed out during the campaign. I cannot and will not sit idly by and refuse to speak truth to power.”

Obviously this is a guy who doesn’t care about his electoral future, because he just signed his political death warrant by unleashing cannon fire on his own party. But Dardenne is not alone in his hostility toward

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Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control

Wikimedia Commons photo of the Pennsylvania state capitol building taken by Ad Meskens

Pennsylvania state capitol building


Leading Off:

PA Supreme Court: In what was by far the most important victory of the night, Democrats swept three seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, giving them a five to two majority; previously, Republicans had controlled the bench three to two, with two vacancies. This victory isn’t simply about ensuring a more just court, though undoubtedly the cause of fairness will benefit greatly. It will also have an enormous impact on the next round of legislative redistricting.

That’s because the Supreme Court selects the tie-breaking vote for the commission that draws up the maps for Pennsylvania’s state House and Senate. In the prior two rounds of redistricting, the Republican-dominated court chose the tiebreaker, but now Democrats will have that power come 2021 (justices are elected to 10-year terms). As a result, Democrats will have the chance to undo the Republican gerrymanders that

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Morning Digest: Pennsylvania Supreme Court sweep gives Democrats legislative redistricting control

Wikimedia Commons photo of the Pennsylvania state capitol building taken by Ad Meskens

Pennsylvania state capitol building


Leading Off:

PA Supreme Court: In what was by far the most important victory of the night, Democrats swept three seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, giving them a five to two majority; previously, Republicans had controlled the bench three to two, with two vacancies. This victory isn’t simply about ensuring a more just court, though undoubtedly the cause of fairness will benefit greatly. It will also have an enormous impact on the next round of legislative redistricting.

That’s because the Supreme Court selects the tie-breaking vote for the commission that draws up the maps for Pennsylvania’s state House and Senate. In the prior two rounds of redistricting, the Republican-dominated court chose the tiebreaker, but now Democrats will have that power come 2021 (justices are elected to 10-year terms). As a result, Democrats will have the chance to undo the Republican gerrymanders that

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Morning Digest: Republican Matt Bevin wins Kentucky governorship

Matt Bevin and Kim Davis

Kentucky Governor-elect Matt Bevin (R), flanked by Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis and her husband, Joe Davis

Leading Off:
Election Night 2015: Despite running the worst campaign imaginable, Republican businessman Matt Bevin has recaptured the Kentucky governor’s mansion for the GOP, defeating Democratic state Attorney General Jack Conway. With the entire state reporting, Bevin crushed Conway by a 53-44 margin, while independent Drew Curtis took less than 4 percent. Conway’s performance was the worst by a Kentucky Democrat since 1863, and Bevin’s victory will make him just the second Republican governor the state’s had since 1971.

But given the sharp rightward trend in the Bluegrass State in recent years, Republicans always had an excellent chance to pick up this seat, particularly because popular Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear was forced out by term limits. Bevin, however, did everything he could to piss away his chances. A

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Morning Digest: It’s Election Day in America—again!

Matt Bevin and Kim Davis

It’s judgement day for Kentucky Republican Matt Bevin

Leading Off:
Election Night: Tonight will be a very busy night. While the Kentucky gubernatorial race will take center stage, we have the battle for the Virginia state Senate, a redistricting amendment in Ohio that actually is too good to be true for Democrats, three Pennsylvania Supreme Court races that could very well decide if Team Blue can retake the state legislature in the next decade, and mayoral races galore.

To help keep track of everything, Jeff Singer has put together an hour-by-hour guide to this evening, arranged by each races’ poll closing time. Polls start to close in Kentucky at 6 PM ET, and we’ll be liveblogging the results every step of the way.

We also have a number of special elections tonight, and Johnny Longtorso has put together a post to give us the lowdown. The

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Morning Digest: As Edwards weathers the storm, our Louisiana rating moves to ‘Lean Republican’

Louisiana Democrat John Bel Edwards

Louisiana Democrat John Bel Edwards has a real chance to paint the governor’s mansion blue

Leading Off:
LA-Gov: It wasn’t long ago that David Vitter was the undisputed frontrunner to become Louisiana’s next governor, sure to dominate his rivals—Republican and Democrat alike—in both the primary and the runoff. But the bayou is often full of political surprises, and things sure haven’t worked out the way Vitter planned and everyone else expected.

Vitter, of course, is infamous for appearing in the little black book of the notorious “D.C. Madam,” Deborah Jean Palfrey, who operated a call girl ring in the nation’s capital back in the aughts. When busted in 2007, Vitter apologized for his “sin” but did not resign, because doing so would have allowed Louisiana’s Democratic governor at the time, Kathleen Blanco, to appoint a successor. Vitter also knew he had three years until his

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David Vitter ad stokes fears of ‘dangerous thugs’ coming to your neighborhoods

Senator David Vitter (R-LA) leaves the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington May 7, 2015. The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to pass a bill giving Congress the right to review, and potentially reject, an international nuclear agreement

Republican senator and noted frequenter of American prostitutes David Vitter is running for governor of Louisiana. Since he is a Republican and a conservative, this means cutting an ad about scary “thug” people coming to murder you all.

An ominous-sounding announcer, whose voice is played over a crackly soundtrack, warns that Edwards would release “5,500 dangerous thugs” as it shows an image of a black man in the foreground as a white man sips from a beer bottle behind him. After the word “thugs” was used to describe rioters in Baltimore earlier this year, Columbia University professor John McWhorter told NPR that “thugs” is a “sly way of saying, ‘there go those black people ruining things again.'”

The “5,550 dangerous thugs” bit is David Vitter’s interpretation of mostly bipartisan efforts to reduce America’s nonviolent prison population—and specifically, efforts by outgoing Gov. Bobby Jindal and other Louisiana leaders to reform

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Morning Digest: Louisiana Democrat: “David Vitter wouldn’t last a day at West Point”


Democrat John Bel Edwards ad against Republican David Vitter

Leading Off:

LA-Gov: Neither Republican David Vitter nor Democrat John Bel Edwards has much time to prepare for the Nov. 21 general election, and both parties are wasting no time opening up a can of whoop ass on the other side. The nasty jungle primary left Vitter with terrible favorable ratings, especially once his opponents started asking questions about his 2007 prostitution scandal. However, Louisiana is a very conservative state and President Obama has never been popular, and Vitter and his allies are aggressively working to link Edwards to Obama. This election may come down to one question: Can Louisianans hate David Vitter more than they hate Barack Obama?

Edwards’ first general election spot warns viewers that Vitter “will spend millions of dollars lying about my record, my values, and my service to our country and our state.

Continue reading “Morning Digest: Louisiana Democrat: “David Vitter wouldn’t last a day at West Point””

Morning Digest: Another poll gives Democrats a small edge in Kentucky with one week to go

Kentucky Democrat Jack Conway

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jack Conway

Leading Off:
KY-Gov: If Western Kentucky University’s new poll of the Bluegrass State’s gubernatorial showdown next week is right, then the RGA’s late decision to try to rescue Matt Bevin is not going very well at all. WKU finds Democrat Jack Conway with a 45-40 lead, while left-leaning independent Drew Curtis takes 7 percent of the vote. That leaves just 8 percent undecided, Bevin would have to capture three quarters of those who haven’t made up their mind just to catch up to Conway. Given that Curtis supporters are more likely to migrate in the Democratic direction, that’s a tall order indeed.

But as we well know, undecideds in a red state almost invariably lean Republican, as just about every pollster who tested the waters in Kentucky’s Senate race learned last year to the industry’s collective chagrin. That group included WKU, whose

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Morning Digest: GOP plan to travel back in time and kill Baby David Vitter almost succeeds

Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter

Louisiana Republican David Vitter

Leading Off:
LA-Gov: Whether Team Red likes it or not, Sen. David Vitter is their gubernatorial nominee. On Saturday, Louisiana voters went to the polls for the jungle primary and unsurprisingly, Democratic state Rep. John Bel Edwards grabbed the first runoff spot with 40 percent of the vote. However, Vitter only beat Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle, a fellow Republican, 23-19 for the other runoff spot; GOP Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne took fourth place with 15 percent. The Vitter-Angelle battle was closer than most pollsters predicted: Only Market Research Insight showed Angelle within striking distance of Vitter in October.

Louisiana is a dark red state and Edwards won’t have an easy time winning on Nov. 21, but Vitter may have just what it takes to lose it all. The senator started 2015 with good favorable ratings, and it appeared that he’d put his

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Morning Digest: Our massive House fundraising chart is here

Democratic Colorado congressional candidate Morgan Carroll

Colorado Democrat Morgan Carroll is off to a fast fundraising start

Leading Off:
Fundraising: Daily Kos Elections’ massive third quarter House fundraising chart is now available. We have listings for over 250 candidates ranging from longshots to top-tier battles, with plenty of hotly contested primaries thrown in as well. You won’t find a more comprehensive—and more succinct—roundup anywhere else.

There are a few candidate hauls worth noting. Colorado’s swingy 6th District played host to a very expensive contest last year, and 2016 will be no different. Democrat Morgan Carroll brought in a strong $377,000 during her inaugural quarter, and she has $308,000 on hand. However, despite his many gaffes, there’s no doubt that Republican incumbent Mike Coffman is a very good fundraiser. Coffman raised $476,000, and he has $860,000 on hand.

Democrat Lon Johnson entered the race for Michigan’s 1st District with high expectations, and he

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Morning Digest: It’s okay to do a little happy dance when you read this Sharron Angle news

Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle gestures during a televised Nevada Senate debate with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at the Las Vegas Public Broadcasting System studios in Las Vegas, Nevada, October 14, 2010. REUTERS/Steve Marcus (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS MEDIA) - RTXTGFQ

Nevada Republican Sharron Angle

Leading Off:
NV-Sen: Jon Ralston reports that Sharron Angle, one of the worst GOP candidates of 2010, is considering another run for the Senate. Two legislators are circulating a letter urging her to get in, and Angle herself added a postscript admitting she is interested and telling would-be supporters, “Your financial support for this effort will make the decision much, much easier.”

Democrats would be beyond overjoyed if Angle somehow beat Rep. Joe Heck in the GOP primary, but that’s extremely unlikely. While Angle still has her supporters in the far-right, very few other Republicans have any interest in seeing her on another general election ballot after her last campaign. Indeed, as a March Daily Beast story shows, Angle has largely faded into obscurity since her loss to Sen. Harry Reid, and she’d have a very tough time raising money against the

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Morning Digest: RGA, in reversal, rushes in to save Matt Bevin with just two weeks to go

Kentucky Republican Matt Bevin

Leading Off:
KY-Gov: Three weeks ago, the RGA unexpectedly stopped airing ads for Republican Matt Bevin. The group never publicly gave a reason, but it seems national Republicans felt that Bevin was running a weak campaign, and they didn’t want to send any more money his way until he shaped up. Bevin’s campaign doesn’t appear to have gotten any better: He’s still allowing Democrat Jack Conway to outspend him, and he almost missed his own fundraiser. But the RGA must see some sort of opening here, since they’re returning to Kentucky with a $1.6 million ad buy.

Unsurprisingly, the RGA’s first new ad is basically the same as every ad they’ve run in a red state since… oh, 2010. The narrator describes how awful things are (“Health care costs have skyrocketed, too many jobs have been lost…” you get the

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McConnell’s big fat gift to David Vitter’s floundering gubernatorial bid

Senator David Vitter (R-LA) leaves the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington May 7, 2015. The U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to pass a bill giving Congress the right to review, and potentially reject, an international nuclear agreement

Sen. David Vitter, the noted philanderer, has an itty bitty image problem that’s become a real drag on his bid to become Louisiana’s next governor, reports the Washington Post:

The latest Louisiana State University poll finds he’s viewed favorably by 30 percent of voters and unfavorably by 41 percent. […] Now, even one-in-three Republicans have negative feelings about their senior senator.

So GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is giving Vitter the gift of a show vote on his pet bill that aims to defund sanctuary cities, places where city officials decline to fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities so immigrants won’t be afraid of local law enforcement. Vitter’s bill and others like it are a terrible idea, as this New York Times editorial fully explained over the weekend:

The laws are a class-action slander against an immigrant population that has been scapegoated for the crimes of a

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Morning Digest: Alabama Democrats to Artur Davis: Drop dead

Former U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, who delivered a nominating speech for U.S. President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, discusses his support of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the second session of the Republican

Ex-Democratic Rep. Artur Davis addressing the 2012 Republican National Convention

Leading Off:
Montgomery County, AL Commission: Artur Davis just can’t come home again. The Democratic-turned-Republican former congressman is trying to run for the Montgomery County Commission as a Democrat, but he needed to get the state party’s permission to do so. Under an Alabama Democratic Party law known as the Radney Rule, no one who has supported another party within the last four years may run as a Democrat. Davis, who memorably campaigned for Mitt Romney in 2012 and mulled running for Congress in Northern Virginia as a Republican in 2013, asked the Executive Board of the State Democratic Executive Committee to waive the Radney Rule, but they rejected his proposal in a near-unanimous Friday vote.

Davis argued that since the party has accepted other party-switchers back into its ranks in recent years, they were obligated to

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Morning Digest: Alabama Democrats to Artur Davis: Drop dead

Former U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, who delivered a nominating speech for U.S. President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention in 2008, discusses his support of Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney during the second session of the Republican

Ex-Democratic Rep. Artur Davis addressing the 2012 Republican National Convention

Leading Off:
Montgomery County, AL Commission: Artur Davis just can’t come home again. The Democratic-turned-Republican former congressman is trying to run for the Montgomery County Commission as a Democrat, but he needed to get the state party’s permission to do so. Under an Alabama Democratic Party law known as the Radney Rule, no one who has supported another party within the last four years may run as a Democrat. Davis, who memorably campaigned for Mitt Romney in 2012 and mulled running for Congress in Northern Virginia as a Republican in 2013, asked the Executive Board of the State Democratic Executive Committee to waive the Radney Rule, but they rejected his proposal in a near-unanimous Friday vote.

Davis argued that since the party has accepted other party-switchers back into its ranks in recent years, they were obligated to

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Morning Digest: Even Matt Bevin’s own poll shows him trailing in Kentucky

Kentucky Republican gubernatorial nominee Matt Bevin

Republican Matt Bevin

Leading Off:
KY-Gov: Ah, yes. We can now add Matt Bevin to the rarefied Hall of Shame for candidates who release internal polls showing them trailing their opponents. Bevin’s new survey, from Republican pollster Fabrizio Lee, finds him losing to Democrat Jack Conway by a 44-41 margin, with left-leaning independent Drew Curtis taking 11. This means that Bevin would have to scrape up all the remaining undecideds—all 4 percent of them—just to eke out a win.

Even sadder, Fabrizio’s poll included some axe-grindy message-testing questions along the lines of, “Would you rather vote for a Republican who opposes Obama’s policies or a Democrat who would be a rubber stamp for the president?” This kind of stuff might be helpful early in a campaign, but Election Day is just two weeks away. Does Bevin really think he can persuade voters to view Conway

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Morning Digest: GOP’s lament: Vitter’s winning the primary but losing the runoff

Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter

A new poll gives Louisiana Republican David Vitter a 16-point deficit against his likely Democratic foe

Leading Off:
LA-Gov: On behalf of the Lake Charles station KPLC and Raycom Media, Multi-Quest International (whom we’ve seen very little from over the years) surveys both the Oct. 24 jungle primary and the likely Nov. 21 runoff between Democrat John Bel Edwards and Republican David Vitter. Like every other pollster who has released numbers in the last few weeks, Multi-Quest has these two men easily taking the two runoff spots: Edwards and Vitter have 24 and 21 respectively, while Republicans Jay Dardenne and Scott Angelle are stuck in the high-single digits.

The runoff numbers are a lot more interesting. Edwards posts an enormous 48-32 lead against Vitter among registered voters. This margin is even larger than a recent PPP survey for an anti-Vitter group that had the Democrat up

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