Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: email@example.com
With a month's worth of spam rotting in my Inbox, here's the latest gubernatorial election news:
* Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura endorses independent Peter Hutchinson with this radio message: "Let's stop the BS." This Hutchinson T.V. ad is equally impolite, but also one of the funniest I've seen. By the way, what happened to all those independents who were going to contend for governor? Taegan Goddard highlights a couple of new polls (here and here) that show them as potential spoilers, but nothing more.
* The campaign of Michigan Republican Dick DeVos recently sent around a message asking for financial contributions. This wouldn't be noteworthy, except DeVos is a gazillionaire who had been self-funding his campaign and Michiganders aren't the most well-off bunch right now.
* Maine Governor John Baldacci has a T.V. ad where he claims that he turned a $1.2 billion deficit/shortfall into a balanced budget. Of course, Maine is one of 49 states where the law requires balanced budgets.
* New York Republican John Faso has a calculator to measure how much Democrat Eliot Spitzer's administration will cost Empire State residents in new taxes. Something tells me Spitzer would disagree with these figures.
* Why, in a state where John Kerry took only 38% of the vote, is Texas' Chris Bell noting his Democratic affiliation in T.V. ads? Maybe because it's a good year to identify yourself as a Democrat, but, in the four-way race for governor, he's probably doing it because 38% would be enough to win.
* Oklahoma Republican Ernest Istook makes an interesting point to doubters of his bid against Governor Brad Henry:no Democrat running for U.S. Senate, President or Governor has won morethan 43% of the vote in the state since 1990 (Henry won with 43% in athree-way race in 2002). On the other hand, in that same time, manyDemocrats have won downballot elections.
* Here'sa sleeper issue for you: college tuition rates. In a year whererelatively good economic times leave relatively little room forchallengers to argue for change, the dramatically higher cost ofcollege over the past four years is a big exception. Wisconsin's Mark Green, Minnesota's Mike Hatch, Rhode Island's Charles Fogarty and Iowa's Chet Culver are all talking about this and I'm sure others are too.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.