Senator Robert Menendez addresses AIPAC, March 2013 / Getty Images
The Capitol Hill debate over new sanctions on Iran is getting pretty nasty — and Jewish heavyweights are split down the middle.
Even in times of bitter partisan bickering, there is one issue that easily gets bipartisan support: the Iranian nuclear threat.
Ohio Looking Very, Very Red: While several election battles are waging in Ohio, the fight appears to be over for one Democrat: Senatorial candidate Lee Fisher, the state’s Jewish lieutenant governor. Even after boosts from actors Matthew Morrison and Martin Sheen, Fisher turned over his small lump of $100,000 in campaign cash over to the Democratic party. Fisher maintains this doesn’t mean he’s quitting. Polls show Republican opponent Rob Portman a good 17 points ahead. (Talking Points Memo)
Vetting for 2012: With less than a week to go until midterms, it’s safe to say the 2012 presidential race is warming up. The Democratic National Committee has already approached the Pentagon to learn about potential Republican opponents—part of its early stage opposition research. According to ABC News, The DNC has filed Freedom of Information Act requests with the Defense Department for any communications between military agencies and nine potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates: former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin; former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney; Governor Haley Barbour of Mississippi; Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty; former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; South Dakota Senator John Thune; Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana; and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. (ABC News)
Counting on Labor: Two candidates included in our Races to Watch are the subjects of negative union-backed ad campaigns: Pat Toomey for Pennsylvania senate, and Mark Kirk for Illinois senate, Republicans both. In Pennsylvania, the union will announce $2 million in campaign efforts, including a push for voter turnout for Democrat Joe Sestak. In Illinois, a union PAC is running an ad against Kirk. (YouTube via Politico’s Morning Score
A Story You Can Bank On: Illinois senatorial candidate Alexi Giannoulias, a former official at his family’s Chicago area bank, is “consistently vague” about just what he did there, the Chicago Tribune finds. In the words of his opponent Mark Kirk, “First he said he was the senior loan officer and ran much of the bank in order to be elected state treasurer. Then, when it was revealed that the Tony Rezko loans were made, he said, ‘Well, I left in 2005.’ Then when it was revealed that he took a $2.7 million tax deduction that required him to justify 500 hours of work (in 2006), he said that he actually was there in 2006.” (Chicago Tribune)
Put this story in your “it’s never too early to go for the low blow” file: The blogosphere has been abuzz this week after Andy Lappin, a supporter of Illinois Republican Rep. Mark Kirk, played the anti-Semite card against the two Democratic challengers vying to take the lawmaker on in 2008.