BREAKING: NY-GOV: Paterson Out

David Paterson–New York’s unpopular, scandal-plagued, accidental Governor– will not seek re-election this year:

Embattled New York Governor David Paterson has decided to withdraw from the race for governor and will not seek election this year, local media reported on Friday.

The Democratic governor, implicated in newly raised questions of impropriety involving a top aide, has been under growing pressure to pull out of the race.

His withdrawal, reported by the New York Daily News and the New York Post, focuses political attention on state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who has been widely expected to challenge Paterson for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

[…]

Paterson was elected lieutenant governor and ascended to the top post two years ago when former Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned amid a prostitution scandal.

It now looks almost certain that Attorney General Cuomo will enter the race. On the Republican side, their candidate is likely to be former Congressman and failed Senate candidate Rick Lazio.

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Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For Deeds

It’s going to be a long four years:

Gay and lesbian state workers in Virginia are no longer specifically protected against discrimination, thanks to a little-noticed change made by new Gov. Bob McDonnell.

McDonnell (R) on Feb. 5 signed an executive order that prohibits discrimination “on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities,” as well as veterans.

It rescinds the order that Gov. Tim Kaine signed Jan. 14, 2006 as one of his first actions.

[Emphasis mine]

It would be bad to prevent LGBT Americans from being legally protected in the first place, but it’s far, far worse to strip them of protections they already have, which is what McDonnell just did.

Then again, this shouldn’t surprise anyone–back during the campaign, Bob McDonnell’s law school thesis gave us a window into his radical right-wing views.  There was no evidence that McDonnell had changed any of his views since then–in fact, he pushed those same beliefs while serving in VA’s legislature–and this just confirms how much of a right-wing ideologue he truly is.

The good news is that McDonnell is limited to only one term in office. The bad news is that he has only just begun to wage war against American values.

Surprise: Tea Party Full Of Crazy People (UPDATED)

I don’t have very many reasons to give Glenn Beck praise, but I do have to give him credit for exposing the Tea Party candidate in the GOP TX-GOV primary as a 9/11 truther:

BECK: Do you believe the government was in any way involved with the bringing down of the World Trade Centers on 9/11.

[DEBRA] MEDINA: I don’t have all of the evidence, there, Glenn. So I don’t… I am not in a place — I have not been out publicly questioning that. I think some very good questions have been raised in that regard. There’s some very good arguments. And I think the American people have not see all of the evidence there. So I have not taken a position on that.

Then again, this shouldn’t be surprising–here’s what conservative journalist Jonathan Kay wrote after attending last weekend’s Tea Party Convention in Nashville:

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Dan Coats (Lobbyist-VA) For…Indiana? (UPDATED)

Former Indiana Senator Dan Coats (R) is jumping into the ring to take on Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh.

After a decade in the Senate, Coats retired in 1998–ironically while being challenged by Bayh, who at that point was Governor of Indiana.

The GOP sees Coats as a recruiting win, but I don’t exactly know why since Coats hasn’t held elected office in more than a decade and doesn’t even live in Indiana–he lives in Virginia and has been voting there since at least 2000.

In addition Coats, who served as Ambassador to Germany for George W. Bush, is currently a federal lobbyist.

So I don’t get why a Washington lobbyist who lives in Virginia is supposedly the GOP’s savior in Indiana–particularly since he’s up against Bayh, who has been a Senator for the past decade and was Governor for the 8 years before that.

Plus, Bayh has $13 million in the bank–that’s a massive warchest, particularly in Indiana.

Of course, nothing is impossible; if I were Bayh I wouldn’t take anything for granted. But something tells me that Coats’ career as a lobbyist and his sudden return to the state he abandoned more a decade ago could dump some water on the GOP’s ambitions.

UPDATE: And this probably won’t help Coats’ campaign:

Flashback: GOP Senator Challenging Bayh Questioned Clinton’s Motives For Targeting Bin Laden

[…]

[B]ack in 1998, Coats questioned Bill Clinton’s motives in ordering air strikes targeting Osama Bin Laden and associates, in the wake of the bombing of U.S. embassies in east Africa.

Coats hinted it was a wag-the-dog effort to distract from the Monica Lewinsky scandal:

“The president has been consumed with matters regarding his personal life. It raises questions about whether or not he had the time to devote to this issue, or give the kind of judgment that needed to be given to this issue to call for military action.”

This was something of a radioactive position even at the time, and those who voiced similar sentiments came under severe criticism for undermining efforts to counter a genuine terrror threat.

[Emphasis mine]

BREAKING: CO-GOV: Hickenlooper In

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper (D) announced today that he will run for Governor:

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, will run for governor of Colorado, Democratic and Republican officials told The Associated Press Tuesday.

The officials disclosed Hickenlooper’s plans on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to pre-empt his announcement, expected later Tuesday at the state capitol.

Facing a tough re-election challenge, Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter abruptly announced last week that he would not seek another term. Hickenlooper made it known that he was considering a run, and he was encouraged by President Barack Obama to do so.

The likely Republican candidate is former Congressman Scott McInnis.

While preliminary polling (from Rasmussen, so take it with a large grain of salt) shows McInnis with a slight lead over Hickenlooper, it’s far smaller than the lead he would have had over incumbent Governor Bill Ritter had Ritter decided to run for re-election.

ND-SEN: Hoeven In

North Dakota Governor John Hoeven (R) announced yesterday that he will run for the Senate seat being vacated by Byron Dorgan.

Unfortunately, that means the GOP is likely to win this seat–Gov. Hoeven is incredibly popular and, before Dorgan dropped out, polling showed Hoeven beating him handily (and keep in mind that Byron Dorgan is no slouch–he’s held statewide office in North Dakota since 1969).

If it was going to be hard for Democrats to keep this seat with Dorgan in office, it’s going to be nearly impossible without him.

I won’t write this race off entirely until we have a Democratic candidate and I see some reliable polling–perhaps someone like Rep. Earl Pomeroy could stand toe-to-toe with Hoeven–but I won’t believe it until I see it.

BREAKING: Sarah Palin, Fox News Contributor

America’s favorite quitbull with lipstick has found a new–and fitting–home: the Fox News network.

The New York Times reports:

Former Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska has signed on as a contributor to the Fox News Channel.

The network confirmed that Ms. Palin will appear on the network’s programming on a regular basis as part of a multi-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ms. Palin will not have her own regular program, one person familiar with the deal said, though she will host an occasional series that will run on the network from time to time.

[Emphasis mine]

So, for the record, Sarah Palin abandoned the people of Alaska–the people who elected her to represent and serve them–in order to become a talking head on America’s shoddiest news network.

I guess being Governor was too hard for Palin–perhaps she’s hoping that being a talking head will be easier (and more lucrative).

And isn’t it funny how Palin attacked Barack Obama for being a political celebrity, yet she ended up quitting her political job to become an actual celebrity.

UPDATE: An interesting to note–Mike Huckabee got his own show; Sarah Palin didn’t. I wonder why that is.