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Gizzi on Politics: Walker Boost; Brown Challenged; GOP Super PAC; More

By John Gizzi
Wednesday, 10 Apr 2013 03:48 PM More Posts by John Gizzi

The recent promising report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a boost for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

Nine months after the Republican governor survived a recall election fueled by organized labor, the bureau’s figures show that the Badger State has 137,372 more private-sector jobs than when Walker first took office in January 2011.

That puts Walker past the halfway point towards his promise of creating 250,000 private-sector jobs in his first term.

With no heavyweight Democrat on the horizon to challenge Walker for re-election in 2014, this growth-and-opportunity agenda may well be what it takes to make the conservative hero decide to run for president in 2016.

Brown Faces Re-election Challenge
At a time when many California Republican leaders feared Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown would face only token opposition for re-election next year, one well-known GOPer with money behind him has stepped forward.

Former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado has begun the exploratory exercises for a gubernatorial run. Multimillionaire Charles Munger signaled last week he would put a substantial amount behind Maldonado’s efforts. Maldonado, a liberal Republican, lost a bid last year for Congress in the Santa Barbara area.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported last week that Maldonado’s senior strategist is John Weaver, chief adviser to the 2012 presidential campaign of former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, and his media maestro will be longtime Los Angeles media consultant Fred Davis.

Landry Opts for Super PAC Over Race
Amid speculation he would challenge Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu next year, former Republican Rep. Jeff Landry surprised fellow Louisianans last week by instead announcing a new super PAC to back his fellow conservative firebrands in the House.

“Restore Our PAC,” Landry explained to reporters, “is designed to protect, secure, and advance conservative principles in the House of Representatives.”

Among the issues backed by the super PAC are repeal of Obamacare, entitlement reform, and the pro-life cause.

Elected as an outsider in 2010, Landry — best known for his plan to keep the House in session and thus prevent any recess appointments by the president — was defeated last year when redistricting merged his former district with that of a fellow Republican.

Assisting Landry in this new endeavor is strategist Nachama Soloveichik, former communications director for GOP Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

McConnell on the Ropes

After 30 years in the Senate, Republican Leader Mitch McConnell is facing the fight of his career. A just-completed poll by Public Policy Polling showed the 71-year-old McConnell’s performance approved by 36 percent of Kentucky voters, compared to 54 percent who disapprove.

In a test race with Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, who has yet to say whether she will run or not, McConnell loses by a margin of 45 percent to 41 percent. In December, PPP found McConnell with an edge over Grimes of 47 percent to 40 percent.

In contrast to McConnell, freshman GOP Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky has approval-disapproval ratings of 46 percent to 39 percent.

John Gizzi is the former political editor for Human Events, working for the conservative weekly from 1979 to 2013. Gizzi is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence, was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002, and has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV talk shows.

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