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* Debate challenges are par for the course this time of year, but usually they're directed at other candidates. Instead, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski is challenging New York millionaire Howard Rich to come to Oregon and debate the state spending limit on the ballot this fall. Rich is funding the campaign to pass the measure.
* I've heard that Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and the fellow Republican who wants to succeed him, Asa Hutchinson, don't always see eye to eye, but it's worse than I realized. Huckabee is one of the world's most famous dieters, while Hutchinson recently recommended that the President Bush try some fried chocolate pie.
* In other Arkansas culinary news, Democrat Mike Beebe welcomed Bill Clinton for a fundraising dinner featuring frog legs. This from the state where they eat raccoon.
* Minnesota Democrat Mike Hatch courts the canine vote in his first ad.
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Photo via Flickr, from the.dOt
* New York Democrat Tom Suozzi has an interesting blog, which, if appearances are to be believed, is written by the candidate himself. My favorite line so far is a justification of his long-shot campaign as a fight against powerful special interests: "But the reasons I'm losing are the same reasons why I'm running."
* I long for the good old days when Carrie Underwood was winning our hearts, Harriet Myers was the talk of the town and politicians were saying 65% of education funds should be spent in the classroom. Now Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Wisconsin Republican Mark Green are upping the ante by proposing a 70% solution.
* Minnesota Democrat Becky Lourey found a surprisingly forthright way to raise money: With an e-mail with the subject, "Becky Lourey will Report Campaign Deficit."
* Ohio Republican Ken Blackwell has taken to referring to his Democratic opponent, Congressman Ted Strickland, as a "former prison psychologist." I know there's a stigma attached to trial lawyers and used car salesmen, but prison psychologists?
* Strickland, by the way, has the nation's most musical campaign. Boyz 2 Men recently held a concert on his behalf and he's soliciting participants for a campaign choir.
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.